Branding Herself...Like You'd Brand Yer Cattle
Until, that is, I started my latest term at design school and was seated next to a 20ish girl whose hair was pulled back, revealing an identical "CC" tattoo behind her ear. "Huh," I thought, "Chanel is actually selling those temporary tattoos from the ads! Crazy--I can't believe people would actually buy those. I guess their marketing dept. really does know what it's doing." The next week, the girl still had a tat in the same place. "Wow," I thought, impressed, "Those things really last!" Well, dear reader, of course the next week I realized that Chanel has not made its fake tats available at your local Neiman's; no, no, this dedicated chick actually went further than the Chanel models and got the Chanel logo permanently, indelibly inked on her skin. She's not a tat fiend, either; the CC is the only visible mark on her body, telling the world that the very most important message she has to broadcast about herself via her sizzled skin is...Chanel. I, she is saying, AM CHANEL.
Apart from the obvious falsity of this statement, what puzzles me most is that she's not a particularly Chanel-y dresser. Her clothes come from Forever21 and Abercrombie (and I'm not even sure of that because they're just that unmemorable). The big-ass sunglasses pushing her hair back might be Chanel, but she shows no other sign of Coco & Karl's striking, powerful-woman black-&-white vibe. Perhaps her theory goes that if she's got the tattoo, she doesn't actually need the clothes to transmit the Chanel message, whatever she thinks it is. In other words, perhaps the branding has been so effective that she not only believes in the power of the double C, but believes that everyone else does, too. Heck, she may be right--in which case she's saved herself a heck of a lot of money. I prefer to believe, however, that whatever power Chanel has truly lies in the interesting clothes, which is simply what the logos hope to evoke. I dunno, though--the impact of the Ralph Lauren Polo logo is certainly stronger than the polo shirt alone (strong enough for the guy who got the polo pony tattooed on his chest...*).
*click link for article revealing that brand-branding is an actual phenomenon. Sad, or inevitable?
> r r <