Friday, October 13, 2006

Victoria’s Secret – Let the cat out of the bag already

When Victoria’s Secret unleashed their PINK line and ad campaign in late July, they celebrated the release with Ashlee Simpson hosting “the world’s biggest pajama party” in NYC. The event was meant to channel buzz and conjure images of underwear-clad pillow fights and gossipy slumber parties (though the only real gossip was concerning Simpson’s plastic surgery.)

The PINK line is largely targeted to girls who still haven’t grown out of their sorority lifestyle and insist on wearing velour “loungewear” and short-shorts with words on the butt. (Hey, I’m all about getting people to read more, but this is ridiculous.)

The real travesty of this campaign is not that Victoria’s Secret is creating a fake sorority so that you can feel better about yourself. It’s not that they’re embracing bodies modified by plastic surgery. The real travesty is that the marketers at Victoria’s Secret have forgotten what they’re truly best at.

They aren’t best at selling you underwear; they’re best at selling you the idea of not wearing any underwear. That, my friend, is a subtle art.

With this in mind, the savvy marketers need to put down whatever they’re doing and get the Pussycat Dolls on the phone. Right now.

As we all know, the Pussycat Dolls aren’t really a singing group; they’re a lingerie group. And they still manage to sell CDs. Imagine if they were selling lingerie.

Victoria’s Secret needs to launch a new campaign – they could call it the “Victoria’s Secret Lets the Cat out of the Bag” campaign. It would be headed up by the Pussycat Dolls in print and TV ads – and would then feature a new hit single by the group, along the lines of “Buttons,” but most likely called something like “Panties.”

Moreover, the brilliance of this campaign would really be in costs saved – as Victoria’s Secret would use the group to sell you the tiniest underwear possible. Manufacturing and materials costs would go down, and sales would go up. (Also, in case I forgot to tell you, the name of the group is the Pussycat Dolls.)

So listen savvy marketers, it’s time you lost the loungewear, enlisted the Dolls, and started making tiny panties. Remember, in the underwear business, less is more.

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