While we can’t all be HENRYs, we can all aspire to eventually get there, starting at the bottom, as illustrated by the Gen X-ers on TikTok.
A new #CheapestThing trend has TikTokers walking into expensive designer stores and literally buying the least expensive thing they can find. These include, although are not limited to, keychains, makeup brushes, lip balms and even cotton pads.
While it may seem like its name would suggest – cheap buys – but there’s something to be said about cheap thrills.
For luxury brands, the trend is worth more than what it might initially seem.
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@marc.unboxBuying the cheapest item from luxury brands: Cartier edition ##unboxing ##luxury ##cartier ##fyp ##foryoupage♬ ily (i love you baby) – Surf Mesa
Cheap thrills or high-number marketing?
At first glance, the trend is what it is – luxury on a budget. It picked up quick and fast due largely to the glamour and excitement of the unboxing process, a voila moment when influencers unveil their purchases to fans with, well, fanfare.
Shopping has always been exciting but toss in a designer brand and you’ve got curious followers anticipating what you spent your money on. Aesthetically, it’s a buffet as well, elevated with brand names like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Gucci.
The novelty to this is that it showcases a side of luxury that many may not be familiar with – that it’s actually attainable. Start small, and you can be associated with Chanel, Prada or Tiffany & Co to your fancy. It creates a cocoon of belonging, driven by most people’s yearning to be part of luxury, even if buying the cheapest thing is the only way in – for now.
For brands however, it’s a heaven-sent avenue of marketing that reaches audiences in ways the most polished ads or expensive influencer sponsorship may never reach.
@marc.unbox has 140,000 followers and more than three million likes on his videos, all of them showing unboxing the cheapest things from his favourite brands. There are the Chanel cotton pads, Celine tennis wristband, Hermes glycerin soap, Fendi tie, Loewe socks, and a Saint Laurent magnet.
@uptop.n.downbelow has Hermes and Dior notebooks to thank for her viral status. Her unboxing video of the Hermes notebook raked up more than 523,000 likes and almost five million views.
These numbers used to take millions of ad revenue to achieve, but are now recorded from the sale of small, seemingly random objects.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s not all that cheap now, is it?