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Zoella: Advent Calendar Conundrum

Zoella: a household name, especially for any U16 year old with access to YouTube (all of them). And fair play to her, she’s built a beauty-based empire with a massive and hugely dedicated following worldwide, and now has thousands of totally besotted tweens and teens at her beck and call. So, is releasing a now-notoriously priced £50 advent calendar giving the people what they want, or taking advantage of impressionable youths and their parents who are just Too. Tired. To. Argue.



This unfortunately incredibly underwhelming advent calendar has been plastered over every news outlet this week. Due to this baffling price, I was hoping for some ground-breaking gifts on offer; eyeshadows maybe, dazzling but tasteful diamond earrings, the cure to the common cold perhaps…Alas. The supposed total cost of the items included is £20. So, plus a generous £5 for packaging, you’re paying a whopping £25 just to have Zoella’s name on it. But hey, that’s not so bad, right? It’s still only £2 a day to keep your little ones happy. Except it’s not. Zoella’s calendar covers only a modest 12 days.


So, I think we can all agree that the calendar is a rip-off, especially considering the contents include a key ring, a miniature note pad and confetti. Essentially, Christmas cracker fillers. But poor pricing aside, Zoella has apologised, and absolved herself of any responsibility with a statement saying that she has no jurisdiction over these final pricings. (Hint: It was Boots that did it). This begs the question of where that fine line in the faux snow lies. When does commercialisation begin to affect credibility? Zoella has, after all, built her career on encouraging others to buy things, initially from other brands, and then eventually from her own mega-lines.


Selling product is a primary source of income, and we all know that the beauty industry is hugely overpriced anyway. If it was a Tiffany’s selling us their signature blue confetti and ribbons, then we wouldn’t bat an eyelid. But that’s really the crux of the issue. Zoella (sorry, Zoella’s marketing team) seems to have totally forgotten her demographic, and brand, in the positioning of this advent calendar. £50 puts this seemingly innocent gift way out of the reach of most people. Whether this choice came from the top or not, it makes the brand look, at best, out of touch and, at worst, corporate and money-grabbing.


These kinds of bad decisions can have a lasting impact for a brand. Maybe not so much for the army of adoring fans, but the parents with the purchasing power are not likely to quickly forget this incident. Zoella would do well in the future to protect her credibility by ensuring she stays on the cute side of capitalism.

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