Chanel, TikTok and the Advent calendar controversy

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A series of videos in TikTok on a calendar of Advent from Chanel which costs 825 dollars and the disappointed customer who had bought it went viral, which in turn caused a multitude of users to denounce the brand, especially in their account of Instagram.

In a sense, this is just the most recent example of the drive for justice against powerful global brands by individuals willing to point out perceived injustices, such as cultural appropriation, design plagiarism, and other misbehavior; it also illustrates the changing balance of power between brands and the public.

But the emotions surrounding this anti-calendar campaign of Advent They have been more charged than usual, partly because it is about Christmas and because of the idea that instead of showing goodwill towards their customers, this specific article suggests that they are looking at their faces.

This is what happened: On December 3, Elise Harmon, a tiktokera from California, posted a video of himself opening the box of a calendar of Chanel Advent in the shape of a bottle of Chanel FEMALE 5.

“Am I crazy?” He asked. “Absolutely. But I’ve never seen a calendar Advent from ChanelSo let’s see if it meets expectations. “

Harmon He rated the calendar wrapper a 10 but was disappointed to open one of the boxes and find what appeared to be stickers Chanel. Although he had liked a hand cream.

And so it happened when he opened more boxes in eight more publications, in which Harmon displayed perfumes (good), key chains (more or less), lipstick and nail polish (generally good, although almost all were samples), a mirror ( no), a rope bracelet with a wax seal CC (how?), a mini snow globe made of plastic … a cloth bag to store shoes or accessories. That dust bag was the last straw.

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As of December 6, the series has been viewed more than 50 million times and each post has thousands of comments, almost all of the type: “They scammed you” or “Who do they think?” Besides everything, Harmon told her followers that she had been “blocked” by Chanel.

Even if Chanel has a page of TikTok, is inactive, your account is private and you have no followers; At the time, it was not clear where they had blocked Harmon He did not respond to requests for comment, but that did not prevent his audience from visiting the account of Chanel in Instagram, who has more than 47 million followers and who has been posting about the parade Artistic careers which will take place on Tuesday in Paris.

Below each photo of the work of the different specialized workshops (“ateliers”) that Chanel sponsor now – the florist wardrobe, the embroidery workshop Montex, among others— and from the promo clips of the film in the collection, there are hundreds of comments: “Don’t ignore the inevitable! We want answers ”. And “Is the movie financed by the sales of the Advent calendar?”

On Monday, four days after the initial video of Harmon, the mobilization continued and its number of followers increased. (A similar reaction has occurred in China, where a blogger also rated the calendar as Advent branding as something that was not worth it).

As to Chanel, has not made any public statements on the matter, but Gregoire Audidier, the director of international communication strategy and customer experience of Chanel Fragrance and Beautywrote in an email: “The recent claim one person made that they had been blocked by Chanel in TikTok is inaccurate. We have never blocked access to the account TikTok from Chanel to anyone, because it is not an active account and no content has ever been published. We are committed to sharing our creations with our followers on all the social networks in which we are active. Our pages are open to everyone and our followers are free to express their feelings and opinions, whether they are enthusiastic or critical ”.

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Chanel It is not, by the way, the only luxury brand that offers a calendar of Advent of cosmetics, although it is the most expensive. In fact, you are late to this concept, which took off a decade ago.

There are now a large number of limited edition Christmas calendars, such as the ones from The sea, Guerlain Y L’Occitane. Dior ($ 550), Armani ($ 310) and Saint Laurent ($ 300) also have calendars of Advent of beauty. None are cheap, and most contain a mix of beauty product samples – the miniature versions of products that are often given away with purchase – and full-size or limited-edition items.

And the cosmetic product versions are just the latest iteration of how the calendars of Advent, invented in the mid-19th century in Germany to teach children catechism and spirituality, have been commercialized over the years. Even the Nazis created their own as a propaganda method.

(The calendar of Advent most expensive on the market is probably the new version of Tiffany of $ 150,000, a 1 meter high cabinet with a reproduction of the painting of Jean-Michel Basquiat of the recent advertising campaign of Tiffany “Equals Pi” on the front and 24 gifts on the inside).

So why the version of Chanel Has it made people so sensitive? After all, luxury brands have never hidden that, to a large extent, what their customers buy is the brand’s own value. A dust bag with “Chanel” written is worth more than a dustbag with nothing.

What’s more, Chanel it exposes all the content of the calendar on its website, so it is no secret what you get when you buy it. It does not seem that their offer is more misleading than other brands.

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But being a novelty, costing so much and being ChanelWith all the mythology that goes with its name, the expectations and interests were higher. And the feeling of betrayal when those expectations were not met was also greater and, apparently, the desire to make them a lot also turned out to be irresistible.

Those who benefit from perception may also lose because of it. What Harmon opened was not just a new mini-perfume. It was a new reality, which can no longer be contained in a box.

Via Chanel via The New York Times.

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