A little sexist, absolutely! But genius just the same...
Here’s a marketing ploy that falls somewhere between a left-handed compliment, a Henny Youngman wannabe, and a crack that a country club gent would gloat about over a gin and tonic and a smoke, “It only cost me $50,000 to stop my wife from shopping at Zappos.com!” Bah-dum-dum.
Noting the company blog, it appears that “due to the tsunami of calls received in 2008 by the Zappos Customer Loyalty Team from spouses of loyal customers lamenting that the web site was causing relationship and financial strains,” the mega online shoe retailer, and now purveyer of almost everything else including a Terraillon Linear Vocal Scale to place alongside the kitchen sink, is coming to the tongue-in-cheek financial rescue of peeved spouses by providing a limited edition “Cease and Desist” T-shirt cum “service” for the stop-you-in-your-tracks price of $50,000. This bliss-buster guarantees that Zappos will “permanently disable a significant other’s Zappos.com account for life.”
Since they are such nice guys, the T-shirt will be personally hand-delivered to the offending shoeaholic by a member of the Zappos Customer Loyalty Team” to demonstrate “yet another illustration of Zappos’ commitment to providing the ultimate customer experience.” Okay, that’s better than the usual free shipping.
The offer does accommodate barring boyfriends from overspending with a lovely pink T-shirt, which washes out the perceived sexist innuendo, well sort of.
Yes, some people can easily spend an insane amount of money on their footwear habit or their luxury du jour, like the chic on the sneak paperbag toting babes, but in full exposure as both a woman who owns a helluva a lot of good shoes which she paid for herself and holds a degree in marketing, the humor in this offer–oops, campaign– is branding genius. Look, I’m talking about it. You’ll be talking about it. And we will all be clicking on to Zappos to see what 50K cannot buy. If there should be any “Ceast and Desist” buyers, please contact me, I’d love to interview you. Then, I’d like to hear that the 50K is donated to a befitting cause.
Do read the fine print on the offer, it’s a blast.
--January 8, 2009