Reviewing some of my favourite fashion copy cliches reminded my of that one time… back when we had the TAB party.
One of the privileges and pitfalls of being a fashion blogger is the PR pitches. Most are spam, but some incite genuine curiousity… as Chanel reminds us, never be too quick to delete… sometimes it really is good enough to be true. Or, as the TAB party taught us… well, what did we learn here?
Anita got the email from TAB saying that if we had a TAB party and posted it, we could win a trip to New York. So Carolyn, Anita and I agreed that we would party together, TAB style. See how blogging makes you the tool of corporate America?
Besides the fact that the drink itself is a vile, artificially sweetened artificially pink jolt of mystery herb and caffeine, the “TAB party” kit was an array of branded bits of plastic and parlor games with a sinister subtext. The line that sets the tone for the material we were supposed to have fun with can be seen on the top left corner of the magnetized frame around my face -
“Fake is for last night, not handbags.”
The quote on the right says -
“If it doesn’t fit, it was ugly anyway.”
What is the message here? “I try on ugly clothes that don’t fit me, I’m sexually unfulfilled and conspicuously consuming, at least I have my fuel to be fabulous?” This is a drink for unhappy people. Thank you Coca-Cola.
We didn’t even finish the first can the aftertaste of the message was so bad. So we uncorked the real fuel for fabulousity… of the alcoholic variety. And I thought I had seen the worst ever example of female-focused ad copy.
That was until I got the gift bag from Chick Advisor’s Shop Crawl, which was a really awesome event. They had lots of cool sponsors like Kiehl’s. The gift bag had a cute bar of soap called Transition Man for literally washing that man out of your life. I thought that seemed okay, Transition Man didn’t take itself too seriously. Good gift for the recently broke up, maybe.
But the product copy that matches the TAB party favours in terms of contempt for customers is Sunsilk ThermaShine, which asks on its bottles -
“Hair Duller Than Your Last Date?”
“Dull hair ATTRACTING DUDS?”
I just want to ask that shampoo who it thinks it is talking to. I have not tried the shampoo yet. Somehow I think it would make me feel dirtier instead of cleaner.
Does attempting to make people feel bad about themselves and their lives really sell more stuff? Did I just sell out by writing about it?