Toronto Star

Chanel apologizes after $1,000 advent calendar mocked on social media

Orignally published on 2021-12-08 20:06:00 by www.thestar.com

People posting unboxing videos on TikTok of Chanel’s limited edition advent calendar say the trinkets packaged in the product do not match its whopping $1,205 price tag.

The advent calendar was launched in honour of the 100th anniversary of the brand’s iconic Chanel No. 5 fragrance. Packaged in the shape of the perfume bottle, the box also begins with day 5 and ends with day 31 to commemorate the occasion.

A quick scroll through Chanel’s Instagram post reveals a flood of negative comments, some saying the pricey calendar is “disrespectful” and “not worth it.”

TikTok user Elise Harmon, posted a video of her apparent disappointment after unboxing the luxury calendar.

“This has to be a joke! Stickers?” said Harmon in one of her videos, which now has more than 14 million views.

Harmon continues the unboxing and finds a hand cream, two miniature-sized lipsticks and perfume. What appear to be the biggest disappointments for Harmon and other commenters are items like a key-chain, branded stickers, a letter seal, pins and what appears to be a plastic bracelet.

Harmon also claims she had been blocked by Chanel’s TikTok account. Since then, Chanel has responded in a statement saying, “We have never blocked access to the Chanel TikTok account to anyone because it is simply not active. It has never been activated, no content has ever been published, it has no subscriber and no subscription. The page therefore appears empty to anyone who visits it. When Ms. Harmon visited our page, she naturally found the usual message that she could not access this account, just like anyone else on the network.”

Despite the seemingly negative attention on social media platforms like TikTok, Michael Pearce, a professor emeritus of marketing at the Ivey Business School at Western University says, “What matters is how the actual customer feels and thinks about what was purchased, and that’s how individuals end up paying so much.”

Pearce says, “the long-time strategy of Chanel is to price high — that’s what Coco Chanel did when she launched Number 5 in 1921 and done ever since with most of their portfolio. It’s part of their strategy to set them apart as a luxury brand … The real value of a limited luxury item offering is the exclusivity and the bragging rights that the few people who do pay extra get for their money.”

Pearce also says the brand could have included better value items or perhaps lowered the price point in order to better reach a younger demographic.

“People attempt to use consumption to feel better about themselves after an event that makes them feel insecure about various aspects of themselves,” says Soo Yeon Kim, an assistant professor of marketing at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

“If I am buying the Chanel advent calendar to make myself look more well-to-do in response to a recent event that made me feel insecure about my social status, then the presence of the advent calendar would unconsciously remind me of my insecurities,” she adds.

“We are aware of the comments that are currently visible under our publications and are sorry that this calendar may have disappointed some people,” Chanel told the Star in a statement.

“The exclusive content of the calendar has always been fully detailed on our website as well as on the packaging of the product: 27 boxes numbered from 5 to 31, containing full-size perfume and makeup products, miniatures and souvenirs all stamped with Gabrielle Chanel’s lucky number,” Chanel added.

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Orignally published on 2021-12-08 20:06:00 by www.thestar.com

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