Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's like an infomercial, that you read!

The holiday season is upon us. Amy Jo and I have seen a recent influx of catalogs arriving at Black Manor. Every time there are catalogs in the mail, Amy Jo says something to the effect of, "You can tell it's getting close to Christmas because of all these catalogs." Here's the thing about catalogs, some of them make perfect sense. I have a Victoria's Secret credit card, I shop there and order things online, therefore I receive their catalog (about once every 15 minutes). Side note, no one sends more catalogs than Victoria's Secret. Some catalogs you get just because God rewards you for being good--I'm talking about Pottery Barn here. Does anyone else's heart skip a beat when they see the Pottery Barn catalog in the mailbox? What can I say? I love catalogs. When I'm flying somewhere, any minor anxiety regarding the flight is diminished by my excitement to read SkyMall.

And then there are the mystery catalogs; the catalogs you have no idea why you receive. You've never ordered anything from this catalog, you didn't even know this was a store. You've never even ordered anything like this merchandise in your life. I'm going to focus on those catalogs, because they're the most fun. The 3 mystery catalogs we've received are (in order of least awesome to most awesome): Improvements, Potpourri, and The Pyramid Collection.

Improvements is at the bottom of the list not because it's bad, but because it is the most normal of the three. It's got a lot of holiday decoration stuff...and a personal soft serve ice cream maker I'm looking at right now. God help me if I had one of those! You can probably find a lot of Improvements merchandise at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I'm sure most of us have something in our homes that is sold from this catalog (we probably bought it somewhere else though). Much like Sharper Image, the items in Improvements are not weird, many of them are simply unnecessary.

Potpourri is quasi-normal. There's a lot of dresses and sweaters that are miraculously unflattering to every body type, moderately inspirational plaques and picture frames about friends being connected at the heart and whatnot. Potpourri is the stuff you see at someone's house and think, "What possessed them to buy that?" Next time you're out and about and see a woman in a silk-screened t-shirt that says, "This is what a real cool Grandma looks like" in little kid writing, or think, "Man, I'm glad that's not my mom wearing the shirt with lighthouses all over it," you can assure yourself that was purchased from Potpourri.

And now we've come to the inspiration for this post. The Pyramid Collection. I have saved not one, but 2 of these catalogs and I could honestly talk about every item on every page. According to the cover, this catalog features "Myth, Magick, Fantasy & Romance." I'll never buy a cape from another catalog again. Pyramid Collection reaches all previously mentioned audiences of Improvements and Potpourri, in addition to an entire new demographic! You've got your inspirational stuff and your keychains with sayings like, "don't drive faster than your guardian angel can fly"...but you've also got all sorts of crazy (and sometimes kinky) costumes and jewelry. But wait, there's more! Pyramid Collection also contains a variety of "discrete personal massagers," the Super Kegel Exerciser, Advanced Sexual Techniques DVD, vibrating panties, and Totally Nude Aerobics & Tai Chi exercise videos!

I love how the people at Pyramid Collection leave no stone unturned from a marketing standpoint. Has anyone ever really thought to themselves, "Why can't I buy a vibrator, medieval dragon deskset, and inspirational angel plaque all from the same place?" If anyone has said that, I kind of want to meet them. I don't think we'd be best friends or anything, but I bet they'd be fun to drink with and/or send hilarious text messages.

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