Friday, March 6, 2015

extreme marketing

Look At Those Ducks! Or: A Brief History of Canada Goose Arctic Program Coats and I
 (With apologies to Charlie O'Leary.)

So, probably about a month ago, I was sitting on the Six train, on the way to work, and I saw this woman standing across from me. I was sitting down, reading my book, minding my own business, and then I look up.

And I was like:
oh my gosh.
that woman.
look at that woman.
She has a badge on her coat.
A f***ing badge.
!!
That is serious.
A serious badge.
That is real.
That is
so. cool.
And there she is, right across from me.
On the six train.

Her badge says--
it says---
(tries to read it from across the train)
Canada
Goose
Arctic
Program.
Oh my gosh.
What.
Canada Goose Arctic Program.
That has got to be--
What is that even? She is a
Real Arctic Explorer.
I mean, she's in an arctic program!
What does that even mean??
What.
How.
How do I process this?
There. Right there.
On the Six Train.
Wow.

I left the train, basking in the glory of this woman's monumental presence. How on earth could she be just standing on the six train, as if she was not the pinnacle of all adventure and daring-do? How did she live with herself, knowing herself to be a Canada Goose Arctic Program Explorer??

Wait.
Was that another Canada Goose Arctic Program badge?
Wait. What.
(turns to look at the slight young man on the sidewalk, who just sauntered past, smothered in a puffy down parka, sporting the same badge)
No way. There are not two arctic explorers in the same two miles of Manhattan. I must be missing something.

Well, as it turns out, I was missing something: Canada Goose Arctic Program is not, was not, and never will be an arctic exploring program, in which fearless and attractive young men and women frolic in the arctic desert and go where no sub-zero explorer has gone before.
No. Canada Goose Arctic Program is a Canadian coat maker (albeit a Canadian coat maker with a sterling reputation). Which is undeniably less exciting than arctic exploration.
Canada Goose Arctic Program, I realized sadly, is not the frozen wilderness incarnate; it's simply an LL Bean competitor.

Ever after that, I grew disheartened whenever I saw one of those badges. They taunted me, mocking me with what they could have been, and yet are absolutely not. They are not adventure and frozen tundra. They are just Well Made Coats. Well made coats that are apparently capitalizing on the polar vortexes and panoply of winter storms (we've had enough storms to fill Valhalla. Also. Those names. Naming the frozen rain that's stinging your face "Juno" or "Thor" doesn't make it any more glamorous, dear Meteorologists of the Realm), and the number of Canada Goose Arctic Program badges that I have seen on the six train have multiplied exponentially.

While visiting my friend in Boston, I shared this sorrow with her, and we began to notice the coats all around us as we passed. As we stopped by the frozen Charles river, and watched the flocks of Canada Geese paddling around in the small patch of running water, someone made a joke (one of those stupid "Friends hanging out together for long stretches of time, thus all their jokes devolve from wit into just enjoyable self-referencing of previous conversations" jokes) about The Program.
Don't worry.
We have our people working on the Canada Goose program.
(jovial laughter)
Oh my gosh, announced someone to the group, did you know those Canada Goose Arctic Program parkas cost nine hundred dollars?
Nine. Hundred. Dollars.

I don't care who you are, spending nine hundred dollars on a winter coat, when you are not, in fact, in the sub-zero desert of the arctic circle, but rather, spending a winter in the slush of midtown Manhattan, is, in a word, ludicrous.
Furthermore, I can't tell the difference between a Canada Goose Arctic Program Parka and another say, three hundred dollar parka, except for the badge on the sleeve. And I object fundamentally to the idea that that badge is worth several hundred dollars. I can buy a plane ticket to Anchorage for that price. I could literally go to the Arctic for the price of a parka. I just.
Can't.

Upon this breaking news from our friend, our group had a collective, passionate (but not unseemly) explosion of outrage.
Nine Hundred Dollars!?
Instantly, one member of our group shushed us all by pointing behind us, a look of unadulterated surprise painted on his face.
Collectively, we turned around to see a couple right behind us, snapping pictures of the ducks. But all we could see was the all-too familiar small red badge emblazoned on the sleeve of the woman's parka.
Knowing that this faux-Arctic Explorer had certainly heard us, and all hope of regaining our social dignity lost, we beat a hasty retreat.
And, accordingly, burst into convulsive fits of laughter.

Thank you, Canada Goose Arctic Program for introducing such dramatic action to the bleak winter fashion scene. Clearly, I've had a really exciting February, folks.

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