an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Tiffany’s: Timeless… and Specialized

Posted by Rosepixie on November 3, 2009

This is an ad for Tiffany and Co. (a famous jewelers) that I found in a popular fashion magazine.



Each spread says:

Some style is Legendary.

So, I get that these models are supposed to be evoking classic looks, presumably from legendary women.  The problem is that I have no idea who they are supposed to be.  And I know a fair amount about famous women from history and fashion history and the intersection of the two.  And I don’t get this ad at all.

I think the idea is cool, but clearly the execution isn’t working for me.  That’s not to say that it wouldn’t work for some people, but I have shown this ad to a few people I thought might get it and none of them did either.  So clearly it’s appeal isn’t that broad.  Having a broadly appealing ad isn’t necessarily always a requirement, but this was in a very popular and mainstream magazine.  A clueless magazine that has editors and writers who I’m pretty sure have no idea what goes on outside of New York’s upper crust fashion elite, but still, a magazine that’s read by women of all walks of life all across the country.

And Tiffany’s, unlike many of the brands that advertise in fashion magazines, actually does have a really long history and appeals to people outside of the teeny tiny little circle the editors of the magazine know exist.  So… it would make sense for them to include more than just that circle in their target audience for their ads.

This ad just feels to me like it requires too much previous knowledge for it to mean anything, and that’s generally a bad thing.  It says to anyone who doesn’t get the ad “our brand isn’t for you”, which isn’t probably the message most companies want to send.

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3 Responses to “Tiffany’s: Timeless… and Specialized”

  1. Eva said

    I got the impression that the women were meant to represent eras of fashion rather than people. So the middle ad might be the 70’s and the first the 60’s. The third one looks kind of late 30’s to early 40’s to me, but I’m much less sure on that.

    It’s a pretty set of ads, but it’s definitely a little confused in it’s point. If they are trying to imply specific people, I think you’re right that they’ve failed miserably.

    • Rosepixie said

      The choice of the word “legendary” is what made me think it’s supposed to be invoking specific people. “Legendary” is just usually a word I hear used for people or events rather than less specific things like eras. I did contemplate that it could be, but they aren’t clear eras either and the word just sounds more like it’s implying people to me.

      Regardless, it’s just not working.

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