Tiffany & Co. is embracing the slogan “Not Your Mother’s Tiffany,” and moms don’t seem to be pleased.
It’s clear the famed retailer, which was purchased by LVMH earlier this year, has high hopes for the slogan—which, we should note, closely resembles the famous tagline “This Is Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile.”
Tiffany has posted videos on Instagram of people putting up “Not Your Mother’s Tiffany” posters, and it has repeated the slogan on Twitter, added it to its website, and touted it on its Facebook page.
Under Alexandre Arnault, the company’s 29-year-old executive vice president, product and communications—whose father, Bernard Arnault, does in fact own Tiffany—the retailer has significantly changed its advertising: It’s stopped running its famed page A3 ad in The New York Times, and on April Fool’s Day, it announced it was changing its trademark robin’s-egg blue to yellow. (The company later extended the joke by opening a yellow store.)
But this particular curveball didn’t sit well with Tiffany’s customers.
In fact, it was difficult to find anyone—on social media, at least—who liked the campaign.
“Dissing your current customers won’t make new ones love you,” tweeted growth marketer Rachel ten Brink.
🚫Awareness doesn’t equal relevance
💔Dissing your current customers won’t make new ones love you pic.twitter.com/66M95tIkZS
— Rachel ten Brink (@rtenbrink1) July 18, 2021
“I guess me, a mother, doesn’t need to buy anymore now that it’s insulting the generations that brought Tiffany to its height,” said one Instagrammer, who called herself TiffanyBlueSue.
Sasha Charnin Morrison, author of Secrets of Stylists, complained on Instagram: “They no longer want me or anyone over a certain age as their customer. Funny. All the people I know—who spend money and shop—love ‘my mother’s Tiffany.’ More so than what’s currently in the store. I find it odd that Tiffany would want to abandon all their customers over 40. And it astonishes me after all of these years we have been loyal and sentimental—this is what we get.”
Tiffany has long tried for relevance with younger consumers, running ads with Zoë Kravitz and having A$AP Ferg remix “Moon River,” the song forever connected to the brand thanks to Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Marketing Week says this move is straight out of Tiffany’s new owner’s playbook: “This is…LVMH’s tried and tested formula for refreshing tired fashion labels for new consumers.”
“[If] younger and more fashion-forward clients will consider Tiffany again…the older existing clients will stop complaining on Instagram and return to the store and its products,” wrote Mark Ritson. “It’s a bet—a big bet—but one that originates from an expert gambler that knows the odds and exactly what it is doing.”
But for now, the reaction is not too positive. Already one of its posters has attracted graffiti, which says, “Leave my mother out of this.”
Not your mother’s Tiffany? https://t.co/hrxJaLFsyJ
— Disneyrollergirl (@Disneyrollrgirl) July 22, 2021
Tiffany did not return a request for comment about the campaign from JCK.
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