Last week, a Missed Connections personal ad on Craigslist looked for a woman in a black T-shirt who ordered a latte at La Colombe, a trendy coffee franchise in Philadelphia’s Center City. “While we weren’t exactly at La Colombe, we bet you looked super cute,” the post’s author wrote. “We also think you’d look pretty amazing in a little something sparkly. Maybe a Swarovski Stardust Bracelet? Yeah, we think that’s the one. And we may just have one for you.”
The post’s author? Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners, a creative agency that works with Swarovski.
Though Swarovski is best known for its lavish crystals, the Austrian company also makes everyday jewelry, such as the Stardust, a simple bracelet that comes in 14 colors and retails for $80. The Craigslist post was designed to be a fun way to remind people of that, says Steve O’Connell, the agency’s executive creative director.
“Advertising often gets in the way of your enjoying content,” O’Connell says. “If you’re on Missed Connections, you’re reading for the fun of it, just to see what happens and recreate that scene in your mind. We’re giving a people a bit of entertainment in a place where they’re already looking for it.”
Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners posted eight ads spread throughout the Missed Connections listings in New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Directed at made-up women such as Chicago’s “Bright red lips w/ wrist tattoo at big star” and “East Village Milk Bar Blonde with Bday Truffles,” each listing focused on a regular place, dispelling the notion that Swarovski jewelry is too fancy for women to wear in their everyday lives.
“They have things you can wear to brunch with your friends or coming back from yoga or on an average Thursday night,” O’Connell says. “This was another way to tell that story in a non-direct way.
Swarovski also gave the agency some of the popular bracelets to gift consumers, which were alluded to in each listing. “Let’s connect and maybe we can hook you up with that sparkle,” a Missed Connection promised the woman with the long black hair at Jay Street on the F train.
Craigslist has since removed all the ads from its site. At press time, Craigslist had not responded to ClickZ‘s request for comment.
“We don’t want anyone to feel tricked, but the worst thing that could happen is, you may get a free piece of Swarovski jewelry, which is an OK consequence,” O’Connell says. “Usually the responses were from people who knew the joke and played it back with us.”
Homepage image via Shutterstock.