Swarovski uses Craigslist to market itself as an everyday brand

Craigslist isn’t just about finding an apartment, selling your car or finding people with weird fetishes.

Swedish crystal jewelry brand Swarovski’s agency, Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners, last week placed a series of faux personal ads in the popular “Missed Connections” section, usually meant for those forlorn types who locked eyes with a stranger on a subway car and were left wondering if they lost their chance at their soul mate.

The posts are cheesy and hinge on generic descriptions that could apply to several women— asking women in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago to respond, for a chance to win a new bracelet from their collection.

One, for example, talks to “the kind of girl that scrolls through the Missed Connections” who knows that her “smile gets attention,” saying that it “deserves something sparkly.” And what might be that sparkly thing you ask? Swarovski’s new stardust bracelet, of course.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 12.00.44 PM“Our mission in the U.S. specifically is to try and take a brand known for special occasions and red-carpet occasions and put it into women’s everyday life,” Steve Red, the chief creative officer at Red Tettemer O’Connell, told Digiday. “We are just trying to find places where we can seamlessly weave the brand in with women’s everyday lives — and Craigslist seemed like a fun place to do that.”

The brand launched its “rebrand” as an everyday-wear brand last year with”Get Caught in your Swarovski,” a print, outdoor and digital campaign featuring women in everyday activities whilst donning their Swarovski crystals. This is a more “organic” extension of that, Red said.

“Unless you do something that allows the brand to be invited in, you’re probably going to be shut out,” Red said. “People flock to Craigslist for tons of reasons, but we also saw its potential as a great storytelling platform.”

Interestingly, the agency confirmed that that these posts were not done with Craigslist’s knowledge and that, essentially, it could pull the plug on them at any time. The platform is intended for classified use, is of “non-commercial nature” and has specific protocol for advertisements. Craigslist was unavailable for comment.

“We consider this storytelling, but if they consider these ads,”  said Red, “they can pull it at any time, and we respect it — we get it.”

Update: Diamonds may last forever, but the ads did not. As of Monday morning, Swarovski is no longer glittering on Craigslist. The posts have been flagged for removal.


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