You may have noticed all the post-Christmas retail advertising promising 60% or 70% off regular prices. I couldn't resist. So I spent Saturday clothes shopping in the big chain stores. The prices were indeed spectacularly low. Trouble was, the merchandise was the same old crap they've been pushing for the last few years.
Is it too much to ask for a sweater in a style or color that I've never seen before? On the other hand, why can't I find a simple, classic turtleneck anywhere?
I know a bad economy probably doesn't inspire retail buyers to experiment. But we shoppers are also suffering from the bad economy and we're not inclined to spend money on new clothes unless they're something special.
So what did I buy after spending the entire day shopping? Nothing. Not a g.d. thing.
Although I'm in Chicago for the week between Christmas and New Year's -- and I have been reading the Trib, where this ad ran yesterday -- I didn't find this ad on my own; I have to give Gawker the credit.
In addition to being funny, this image reminds me of a couple of things I've been wondering about for years.
1. Why don't retailers make more of an effort to not place price stickers over product instructions?
2. And why do discount stores (hey, Filene's Basement, listen up) sell lovely giftware only to make it unsuitable for gift-giving by using price stickers that can't be removed without finish-damaging acetone?
Campbell Soup is running this ad as part of a Swanson broth campaign aimed at gays and lesbians. This particular ad profiles the holiday traditions of chef Lea Forant and her partner Carolyn, provides a recipe for butternut squash bisque and features an adorable photo of the two women with their son Eli.
Complaints about this ad and the rest of the campaign are coming from predictable sources. Campbell makes no apologies. The company's rep Anthony Sanzio says:
Our position on this is pretty straightforward. Inclusion and diversity play an important role in our business, and that fact is reflected in our marketing plan. For more than a century, people from all walks for life have enjoyed Campbell's products, and we will continue to try to communicate in ways that are meaningful and relevant to them."