Chanel's 'Underwhelming' Advent Calendar Had Good Products and Packaging, But at Too High a Price
You're probably not in the market for an advent calendar anymore, unless you're getting a very early jump on the next holiday season.
If you are, though, you might want to think twice about Chanel's glitzy-looking advent calendar, which nails the packaging and branded look, but disappointed enough buyers this past December that it made some waves online.
After buying the advent calendar, which cost $825, some buyers expected products to match the price tag and previous advertisements, which made it seem like they'd get high-end gifts every day of the month.
As it turns out, underneath the chic printed design, which looks like a giant paper bottle of Chanel perfume, were only 21 days worth of gifts instead of 24, and some customers were upset that they got things like stickers, a magnet, a bookmark and a key ring rather than upscale cosmetics.
About that $825 Chanel Advent calendar. https://t.co/9XOQkkCzTk
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 7, 2021
That led to some backlash online, with critical posts popping up on various social media platforms. One TikTok user posted an unboxing of the advent calendar, and had some choice words about the stickers inside. Some websites reported that the backlash led Chanel to deactivate its TikTok account, but the brand debunked that by saying the account had never been active.
For a brand like Chanel, the name is often more important than the actual product it appears on, meaning things like stickers would, theoretically, take on a higher perceived value. We see this with other brands, like Supreme.
"I could argue that for most luxury brands, you're paying for a name versus the item you get, but this kind of does push the boundary a little bit," the founder of Unmarketing told CBC.
In the end, it was some bad press for Chanel, but that's mostly due to the price point. Branded advent calendars are big these days, and this particular one made good use of small promotional products to add some variety to the countdown. And the overall branding and packaging was solid. In this case, though, $825 set customer expectations way too high.