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business Editor's pick

Man Repeller trolled Zappos’ customer service team, and it’s hilarious

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If this isn’t the best ad for the customer service reps at online shoe retailer Zappos, then we don’t know what is.

Haley Nahman, a writer for fashion blog Man Repeller, decided to test out the company’s mandate that essentially says its team will answer any question you throw at them. And she did so in the most entertaining way possible.

First she started by asking questions related to fashion and which shoes she should wear. Straight-forward. Next, she adds in that she can’t quite find what she wants on Zappos and do they have any other suggestions – she kindly gets some Amazon links back (Zappos’ parent company), as well as some amusing details on the customer service reps name and fashion perspective.

From here on out, things start heading a little left field… from opinions on manicures, to a back-and-forth about cats vs dogs, and suggestions for artichoke dip recipes. “OMG. THIS TEAM WILL DO ANYTHING,” Nahman exclaims as she walks away with a delicious dish to try, noting simultaneously how her karma levels are slowly falling wayward.

Man Repeller writer Haley Nahman and her cat, Bug - as referenced in the Zappos customer service conversations
Man Repeller writer Haley Nahman and her cat, Bug – as referenced in the Zappos customer service conversations

On a scale of tasks related to being a Zappos rep, things only get wilder from there: Nahman heads into neediness territory, gets some killer Harry Potter quotes back (seriously), and brings in some heavy personal family matters that still manage to get the most considered of responses.

“Did I mention she thanked me for taking time out of my busy day to get in touch? I am a horrible person who doesn’t deserve nice things,” Nahman writes. “Zappos will indeed answer any question thrown at them, I no longer deserve my membership in the Former Customer Service Worker Club and I am spending my discretionary income at Zappos for the next ten years in a meager attempt at restitution for my wrongdoings.”

What a win for Zappos, who has of course based its entire business on the quality of its customer service team. “Seriously, the goodness of these people nearly drove me to poetry,” Nahman adds. Now there’s a testimony.

Categories
Editor's pick film

Mercedes-Benz proves a puppet assistant is the next big thing in fashion

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It’s always good to see fashion not taking itself too seriously. This time, it’s the turn of Mercedes-Benz with the help of sound designer Michel Gaubert and his puppet assistant Petit Michel.

In an amusing short film – the latest in the automotive brand’s Fashion Creatives series – the relationship between the two characters is explored. Initially it’s about sabotage on the part of the puppet, and embarrassment for Gaubert, before it emerges that Petit Michel is in fact equally a genius on-hand to help Gaubert win some of his biggest gigs. For reference, those gigs span the fashion show soundtracks of Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel and Fendi, through to Raf Simons, Jonathan Anderson, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Jeremy Scott and Celine.

As a reward, Petit Michel is off to Mercedes-Ben Fashion Week Berlin in Gaubert’s place. He also gets read a soppy poem and given a rocket badge. The duo cruise around in a Mercedes-Benz 1970 280SEL throughout.

The spot was written and directed by Los Angeles-based director Toben Seymour. The puppeteer for Petit Michel was Viktor Yerrid, who works for the Jim Henson Company and has performed Muppet characters in many TV shows, movies and TV commercials.

Image credit: Shelby Duncan

Categories
Blocks film

Comedy sketches from SRSLY duo anchor LOFT holiday campaign

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LOFT has teamed up with the duo behind a web comedy series called SRSLY to bring some funny to its fans this holiday season.

The “Put the Happy in Your Holiday” campaign sees a series of four short sketches featuring stars Alexandra Fiber and Danielle Gibson.

The once NYU classmates focus on a variety of different humorous scenarios including getting trapped in a red dress in the fitting room; deep in conversation with a dog at a party; choosing to reject the multitude of holiday invites that have come through the door on any given night and stay in instead; and discussing their ever-so stylish ‘gingerbread boyfriends’.

“We’ve been huge fans of the SRSLY girls for a while and knew we wanted to partner with them on a fun video series and what better time than during the holidays when everyone is scrambling to do it all. They nailed it with the different dilemmas they chose to poke fun at. And who hasn’t been in at least one of the situations the SRSLY girls spoofed during the holidays,” Michelle Horowitz, SVP of marketing at LOFT, told us.

Fiber and Gibson, who have partnered in the past with the likes of Glamour, Refinery29, Birchbox and Bare Minerals, told WWD: “We love working with brands that have a great sense of style and humor, and LOFT let us eat cookies and hang out with a puppy. We also made videos at some point… Can the entertainment and fashion industry ever merge with such delicious and fluffy results again? We don’t know. We don’t think so. It was one of the most fun shoots we’ve ever done, and we’re psyched for the rest of the world to see what happens when you put the LOL in LOFT.”

The duo are also appearing in a “12 Vines of Christmas” series, with new clips being released each day like an advent calendar on the “Loft.com site”, where some curated gift picks as well as a FalalalaLoft playlist from the SRSLY girls exist for further perusal.

Categories
film

Freebie frenzy captured in T by Alexander Wang video

 

The latest T by Alexander Wang campaign video is sheer genius. How better to convey such love for the brand than by shoving a group of unsuspecting fans in a warehouse and offering them access to as much free product as they can physically get their hands on.

That’s what happened at a one-time only secret event in New York a few weeks back, which the Wang team captured on camera and just released for the world to see. Needless to say, a frenzy doesn’t even begin to explain it. Once the doors opened and the crowd dashed in, they trampled over each other to grab items off the racks, from inside boxes and even out of each other’s hands. The slow-mo catfights shown beautifully sum it up.

The inspiration for the initiative comes from Darren Stein’s 1999 dark comedy, Jawbreaker. The movie’s final prom scene, in which enraged classmates toss things at Rose McGowan and her tiara slips, is a favorite of Wang’s. Stein accordingly directed this video too, playing up to Wang’s desire to use his seasonal campaign work as a platform for experimentation (see Bon Qui Qui in last season’s for reference).

“I love reaching out directly to our audience; to have a dialog that provokes and at the same time has a sense of wit and irony,” said Wang. “Nothing is formulaic with T. This project was viral and street at the same time, which allowed us not only to communicate with our audience through different avenues, but to activate them. I liked the idea of creating a destination that’s unknown, mysterious, and fun, where people can connect.”

The result is so insane it of course looks totally staged – maybe it is. Either way, we’re all a bit jealous.