Friday, 30 November 2012

The Holistic Approach to Retail (or how I got suckered by the cool kids)


Alright, so this is a little bit of a cop out. I hold my hands up to that from the outset. Even though this is a Year Abroad blog, it’s also my blog, and I’m going to write about things that interest me. In deference to regular readers, this does have a slightly French slant.
This topic has come to me when I started looking at the top brands, and how they try to get you to buy things. That topic began when I saw Cartier’s latest advert on Youtube, and promptly vomited on my lap because of its pretentious tittery. Mind you, then I told you about it, and even linked to it so maybe I’m just playing you all for fools.
Thing is, a certain person in my life implied that my life would become immeasurably better in several interesting ways were something bought from this company to end up in the aforementioned person’s stocking. Christmas stocking, presumably, since nobody much likes something spiky and cold in their socks, even if it is a ring from Cartier. Maybe they do. Diff’rent strokes, etc.
And so - out of a sort of morbid curiosity, to see how far my bank balance would recoil upon presentation of Cartier’s prices, I perused their site. It’s a nice site, as it should be, with slidey bits and smooth movement and prices clearly shown. Until you get to the upper end. At that point, there’s just a link that says “For more information” and then underneath, as if it dare not even sully the shiny baubles with the word, is (Price).
I’m genuinely not sure now what the difference is between high-class escorts and diamond rings from Cartier, except in one I’m paying someone else to screw me before I get -
well.
You see where that’s going.
In any case, I clicked the link, filled in the details, and got an email very swiftly. I opened it, assuming it would be a price that was so laughably high that I could write a lovely blog mocking the house of Cartier and their vile markup on otherwise common and boring carbon.
Instead, the cheeky chaps at Cartier sent me an email assuring me that somebody from their sales team was going to email me soon, and they appreciated my custom.
And now, suddenly, I’m back at school asking the cool kids to play with me. No, in fact, it’s worse that that. I’ve submitted an essay to a teacher whose approval I am desperately seeking. I really, really want to be accepted. I’ve started freaking out a little - are they running credit checks? Is there a sneering jeweller somewhere in Paris looking at my little bank account and laughing at its pitiful nature?
I mean I don’t care, I’m like totally cool. Whatever man. I don’t even want to buy one of those silly rings, despite the delights deliciously depicted and dictated to me. I’m not even bothered.
Yea, and denial is just a river in Egypt.

The point I’m making, in a very roundabout and unpointy manner, is that by the simple action of letting me know that my custom is not the most important thing to me, they’ve actually made me want their damn silly baubles more. As it happens I’ve just got their quote through, and as previously imagined it is so unbelievably, laughably high that if it represents three month’s salary for any man then I need to find that man, and marry him first. Because now I simply must have one of these silly, silly baubles. They’re precious. And we wants it.

The sum they asked for, by the way, was “a partir de (starting at) €26 000.”
That's approximately £21,000.

I don’t even love myself that much.