YSL collaborates with Facebook
YSL Facebook Eye Shadow Courtesy of YSL.
Remember that friend of yours from high school – let’s call her Regina - who had the ‘cool mum’: she drank gin and tonics and gave you advice on boys? But then she turned up at the mother-daughter dance wearing a body-con dress from Supre?
And you and all your other friends were like
And Regina’s mum was all like “What? Isn’t this what kids are into?”
And you're like “Yeah, but you’re a mum”.
Well, YSL just became that mum. They’ve developed an eye shadow palette inspired by ... Facebook. Calling it ‘a declaration of love’ to its fans, the eye shadow compact combines the distinctly ‘Facebook’ shade of blue with other colours of grey, white and black.
According to the UK beauty blog www.kissandmakeup.tv there are only 1,650 available and the desperate grab for the youth market publicity campaign launches on YSL Beauty's Facebook page on July 19. Apparently any Facebook fan who buys the ‘Devoted To Fans’ palette will receive "privileges" in the form of exclusive information, perks and services through their Facebook feed and in store.
This might appear as a Godsend to some but may I say I’m officially concerned about YSL as a brand? First, they change their name from Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris. We know why Kentucky Fried Chicken went to KFC, right? Because ‘fried chicken’ from Kentucky isn’t exactly an aspirational dish anymore, is it? But Yves Saint Laurent, God rest his soul, is still an aspirational name. He invented the smoking jacket, for crying out loud! He mainstreamed the kaftan! He was – and remains - a cultural icon!
But, I get it, I get it; tough times call for tough measures. The GFC might be over for us but try telling that to most of Europe. And when people stop spending it’s only natural that they feel upset when companies act like life is one big Gatsby party. So, as a company, you gotta get earthy, right? Play to the people!
And what's the easiest market to tap into? Why, it's the youth! So, YSL are trying to broaden their consumer base to include younger people with smaller incomes. Less luxury and more accessibility, right guys? And look, who wouldn’t want to make their brand appear more accessible?
But let’s not forget that Facebook, while appearing deeply democratic, is really just another huge billion dollar corporation and there is a difference between connecting with consumers on a social media platform and turning your makeup into an ad for them.
Besides which, is this re-branding from ‘luxury’ to ‘BFF-of-the-laidback-youth’ really the answer? Can’t you guys do what Chanel does and pick a young, hip fashion plate to promote your wares? Because, YSL? This Facebook stuff dilutes all of that wonderful Parisian luxury fashion mythology I always associated you with and turns it into ...well, a Supre body-con dress on someone’s mum.