Some time ago, I entered a contest with the fine forks from Jockey® underwear. I didn’t win, but at least their follow up marketing emails are an oddly entertaining read. A recent email subject line stated: Deal #3 | Get 50% OFF sleepwear with code PARTY
Now of course, when I think ‘sleepwear,’ I also think ‘party.’ This one may have been targeting a younger (or at least much different) demographic than I reside in.
Then there was this: Get 25% OFF classics with code BEACH. The combination of ‘classics’ and ‘beach’ intrigued me, especially after seeing that ‘classics’ meant just that; plain old white, cotton underwear. It’s about the only thing you probably won’t see people wearing at the beach these days.
My personal favorite undiemail came just last week: Memorial Weekend Savings | Get 20% OFF with code PICNIC. This one makes sense on so many levels; long, holiday weekend + underwear = picnics…eh?
I’m not good at long underwear division
Then it hit me; it’s not about price and savings at all. These messages are aimed at a much younger crowd – people who actually wear their underwear 25 – 50% off in their day-to-day lives….like my high school students. That must be why these emails bemuse me; in a given week at school, I see more underwear than Inspector 12 – you know, the one who always leaves that fortune-cookie slip of paper in the underwear packages.
Keep in mind those were just the subject lines of the emails. One of the actual ads was, um…eye catching:
“This weekend only, get your mini brief keychain for
$4.00 $1.00 (plus $.99 shipping)”
‘Mini brief keychain’ is a phrase I had to (at least in an investigative journalist/blogger duty mode) investigate. Clicking on the ad bounces you to their order page, where, like any good retailer, they lay out their product specs:
Jockey® Mini Brief Key Chain underwear
Style # 10310
• meet mini brief
• created in celebration of our 75th anniversary of the brief
• just like our iconic classic brief, only MINI!
• signature Jockey® logo waistband
• y-front® fly design
• approximate size: 4” x 3”
Fabric Content: 100% cotton (excludes metal key ring). Imported. WARNING: Choking hazard- Small parts. Not for children under 3 years. Additional colors on Sale
Note the red triangle in the top right corner: Only available online.
Gee; just in time for Father’s Day….or that special vintage G.I. Joe doll you have lying around.
Hey, 75th anniversaries are always worth celebrating, right? And if you’re going to do something, keep it authentic, make it count for something….in seven different colors, no less. But not white. Go figure.
Imported, too. Conjures up great mental images of people in China, sitting at an assembly line with puzzled looks, shoulder shrugs, and saying ” 什么？” (“What the hell?”) to each other as these things roll by.
It does seem a bit elitist to me, though, the whole ‘only available online’ thing. I am not sure what demographic they are aiming at with the keychain, but it would seem to me that those most likely to buy and use it would be less likely to shopping for their underwear online.
I also wonder if anybody has thought through the natural consequences of using said mini-briefs for corralling ones keys on a day-in, day-out basis. If you keep your keys in your pocket, you’re likely to snag loose change and paper clips in the crotch and have them flying everywhere each time you pull out your keys. If you have your keys hanging from your belt as is the style these days, you’ll always have mini-underwear hanging off your hip.
Maybe that’s where the marketing geniuses have struck gold: this is a product aimed at those who want to be urban hip, but who still want to walk normally and don’t want their real undies and half their buttocks continually exposed. Now you can be a young stud without the plumbers-crack stigma and still listen to Barry Manilow on your iPod, looking hip all the while.
But there is a problem I foresee.
Every keychain I have ever had tends to suffer a good amount of wear and tear from basic use. I would not want to see those mini-briefs after a week or so of getting in and out of the van, unlocking the door every day after work, locking and unlocking your bike to the rack at the frozen yogurt place, opening the moneybox buried in the backyard, etcetera. A week in and you’re gonna have some tough looking undies.
Unless of course, you purchase them like you do your regular underwear and keep a drawer full to change every day, though that seems a bit impractical.
Mostly because the dark blue ones are out of stock.