An open letter to Victoria’s Secret

Whether you agree with it or not, you have to love this kind of direct honesty. I chuckled at a couple of the (valid) points made. And, no, I don’t live in the USA and I don’t own any lingerie from Victoria’s Secret, but I know of the brand and what it supposedly stands for; after reading this, I hear exactly what he speaks of below, and I’m leaning (like a 45 degree angle) towards agreement.

Dear Victoria’s Secret,

I respect you. This I cannot deny.

It’s a respect that comes largely out of how exceedingly successful at creating your business you’ve been. After all, you’ve created a label that so many people perceive to be a luxury fashion house, and yet it isn’t. For one, your goods are not made by artisans. And then there’s the fact that your stores can be found in every part of America that I’ve ever been to, and I suspect you’re also inside all the shopping malls that I never will enter. But luxury fashion houses aren’t really like this, and yet the perception remains clear in the masses’ heads: Victoria’s Secret = luxury lingerie. Over the last 30 years your marketing machine has created something of a paradox in this notion of “common luxury” and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that’s no easy feat.

But, as of late, that same marketing machine has started to feel a little tired. The first irrefutable sign was your 2010 Christmas video. Directed by Michael Bay of Transformers fame it was all loud noise and bright flashes. It was also pretty damn cool, if you’re a 15 year old boy. But I’m not, and neither are your customers. There have been other signs along the way of cours (model as mannequin courtesy of Photoshop, for instance), but I’ve always been willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and see our differences of opinion as a result of the cultural divide that is the Atlantic Ocean. But this month we’ve seen the first video component of your 2011 ‘Bombshell’ campaign and I have to be honest: it leaves me without a doubt that part of your marketing effort, the video part, is really missing the boat.

In fact, I’m writing to tell you that the boat has sailed. It’s the 21st Century and we’re living through a golden age of design, a period where we as customers want to have real experiences with what we buy. Nay, we want to have emotional experiences. We  need to believe. And your latest video campaign offers up none of that.

Frankly, it feels a little bit too last decade.

Written by Daniel P Dykes

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