It's been another weird week in retail.
McDonald's is giving away a hamburger-shaped diamond ring, Balenciaga sold out of a whole line of $850 platform Crocs and Unilever is trying to make Marmite appetizing by dipping it in 18-carat gold.
This, and more, in this week's Retail Therapy.
McDonald's puts a ring on it
Many of us have become disillusioned with the idea of money over the years because, in the wise words of the Beatles, "money can't buy me love." But what it can buy you is a $14,286 "Bling Mac" — and what's really the difference?
In fact, McDonald's is in such an amorous mood this week that the company plans to give away the diamond-encrusted hamburger for free to one lucky Twitter user, Teen Vogue reports. Whichever customer demonstrates the most "(i) creativity — 40%; (ii) love and affinity for the Big Mac sandwich — 30%; and (iii) humor — 30%," according to McDonald's rules of play.
Love is in the air! Literally. With the aroma of the 3 Big Mac burgers. And we're celebrating with the Bling Mac—a gratuitously diamond-encrusted prize for the fan who tweets the best, most creative vows of Big Mac burger love to @McDonalds in the #BlingMacContest! pic.twitter.com/EADWJzVOvU— McDonald's (@McDonalds) February 7, 2018
The Twitter responses are already rolling in, because nothing says "I love you" more than a free food-shaped Valentine's Day gift.
For those not planning to say their vows under the shade of the golden arches, Starbucks has a Valentine's Day drink that allegedly tastes like a box of chocolates and — unlike every other limited drink at Starbucks — it's actually worth buying.
The "Cherry Mocha" is great for single people too because, unlike an ex-boyfriend, it will be sweet.
Be still my heart. I didn't think you could love something more than the Big Mac. The Bling Mac is FOREVER— jeanette mckinzie (@onehotdivorcee) February 8, 2018
The Starbucks Cherry Mocha made my month. It healed my heart. It paid my student loans. pic.twitter.com/enYPDb1FEN— Emily Polglaze (@enpolglaze) February 6, 2018
The cherry mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks taste exactly like dark chocolate covered cherries— allyson (@a_cokess) February 7, 2018
Balenciaga puts Crocs on a platform
Except this time, the terrible mistake was Balenciaga's platform crocs and the payoff was four months later when they all sold out before officially even going on sale, Teen Vogue reports. We thought they could get no uglier, but it turns out that the revulsion only grows when you realize that someone (multiple someones, in fact) spent $850 on them.
At this point, we're inclined to think that nothing could be worse than platform Crocs being sold for $850, right? But sadly, we're wrong. Because now you can also buy shoes … for your shoes. According to NPR, the shoe sandals will sell for $355 and will be there to protect, and visually mutilate, whatever expensive pair of shoes you're already wearing.
But all in all, that's not a bad price tag for a product that will make your $850 pair of Crocs last longer — that is, if we're not counting how much dignity you'll lose.
Balenciaga Crocs— Love x Hate (@lovehatexme) February 1, 2018
get me the sankuanz shoes for my shoe, thank you.— mo. (@mokutimaa) February 5, 2018
Every rainbow ends in a pot of Marmite
Not all that glitters is gold: In fact, sometimes it's just a jar of Marmite — plated in gold.
Unilever is trying to convince customers to play an augmented reality game where the only prize is the controversial condiment, Mobile Marketer reports. Being masochists, consumers are already searching for the jar of Marmite, which was dipped in 18-carat gold to prove that almost anything can be made appealing when it has a high enough price tag.
My gran just Whatsapped me to tell me about a new Augmented Reality Geocaching app where you can win personalised jars of Marmite.— Jesse Baker ???????? (@marmite22) February 5, 2018
According to the company, the lid is "molded out of sterling silver" and the jar is "engraved using a diamond cutter," so there can be no doubt how much money was wasted on turning a jar of Marmite into a luxury product and then giving it away in the hopes that it will convince people to buy more Marmite.
In the wise words of Regina George: Stop trying to make Marmite happen.
Calling all Marmite lovers! Fancy getting your hands on our one-of-a-kind 18ct gold plated jar? Download the @SnatchHQ app and join the hunt: https://t.co/QBRPBlAhiM #SnatchMarmite pic.twitter.com/rjSsclXEo7— Marmite (@marmite) February 7, 2018
Snapchat ghosts retail
There comes a point in every company's life where they are officially popular enough to sell merchandise and turn a profit on it. Snapchat has apparently reached that point.
In a move that rivals Asos' poop emoji handbag, Snapchat has opened a store that sells accessories and apparel based off of its signature ghost emoji, along with the dancing hot dog and streak-related merchandise, Mobile Marketer reports.
While the products are reasonably priced ($20 for a plush dancing hot dog, $50 for a winking ghost sweatshirt and $30 for a Snapchat streak hat), they make up for what they lack in price with a shameless amount of branding on each product.
We can only assume that Snap is aiming for a tween audience with this move — the only demographic where low prices and high branding is almost guaranteed to succeed.
Snapchat now has a snap store and they know exactly what they’re doing pic.twitter.com/ZNUqNczOx9— Angela (@angelamaay) February 1, 2018
Snapchat just launched an apparel store in Discover pic.twitter.com/jqfbihtKeX— Alex Heath (@alexeheath) February 1, 2018