20 Sep 2021
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Tiffany Pisses Mothers off with its Supposedly Cool Campaign
‘Not Your Mother’s Tiffany’ campaign has received backlash from customers and marketers for going against everything the brand has stood for over the last 185 years
By: Vijetha Rangabashyam
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Jul 29 2021 3:34PM
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Reference: 25748  

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Tiffany’s recent ‘Not Your Mother’s Tiffany’ has created quite a stir amidst its patrons. In a bid to court Gen-Z, the brand has taken a leaf out of Oldsmobile’s book. For those of you who don’t know, Oldsmobile is an American automobile company that used the infamous tagline “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile,” which pretty much led to the decline of the car brand.

Staying relevant and appealing to the “consumers of today” has always been part of Tiffany’s DNA. Remember when they paid $47 million to Elsa Peretti just so that her name still is associated with Tiffany? The latest campaign has young, cool-looking models wearing Tiffany’s jewellery, along with the caption “Not Your Mother’s Tiffany” in bold. The moms of America are NOT happy.

In the era of any publicity, is good publicity, sure the campaign has managed to make a statement and garner a lot of attention. But in the process, it might’ve potentially besmirched everything it stands for – for starters, originality. Even marketers who work in the luxury space feel that Tiffany could’ve done better. The approach is audacious, in that, they have managed to go against their own ideology.

It may be talking to Gen-Z, but one would expect Tiffany to know better than to not brush all of Gen-Z with the same brush. The audience that Tiffany is attempting to attract is also deeply respectful of tradition and legacy, and has a thing for hand-me-downs and all things Vintage. The same audience is also very good at calling someone’s bluff when it comes to ingenuity.

InstaMoms couldn’t contain their anger, but mostly their disappointment. Said one follower, “As a mother who has spent the last 15 months working from home and homeschooling my daughters at the same time I feel really offended by your campaign. Mothers all over the world have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic - I am not sure this is right moment to diminish us (it obviously never is). If it wouldn't hurt my husband I would take off my Tiffany's wedding band and my Tiffany's engagement ring right now. Your campaign leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.”

“Tiffany is classic and iconic. Why is there a need to pit generations against one another? My daughters love my collection and have dibs on certain pieces,” commented another follower.

Will the campaign have a debilitating effect on the brand’s future? I don’t think so. Luckily for Tiffany, in the era of information overload, people’s attention span is also fleeting. So, the decision of not buying a piece from Tiffany because of the campaign seems slim. But that’s just me.

It would be interesting to understand what Tiffany’s game here is. A brand like Tiffany just doesn’t do cool things for the sake of being cool. It also doesn’t take the chance to piss off its loyalists by being exclusionist.  If it is purely an attention-grabbing tactic, then the campaign is certainly vacuous. But I am going to go on a limb and say that there is definitely something larger at play.

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