Wouldn’t it be great if you could email your holiday wish list to friends and family without seeming like a self-indulgent clod? Well, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that several stores now feature self-promoting wish lists that magically email themselves or generate sales calls to potential gift givers.
Searle, a chain of high-end boutiques in New York, is phoning husbands and grandmothers to tell them about the $478 silk dresses and $298 velvet scarves their loved ones have put on their “Dear Searle” lists. Bluemercury, a chain of 26 beauty boutiques, is inviting customers in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Princeton, N.J., among other places, to provide names of relatives and friends the store can call to suggest gifts.
Online retailer Net-a-Porter.com, which sells women’s designer clothes and accessories, has gone a step further, offering videos that are emailed to husbands and boyfriends, telling them what the sender wants. First, the sender fills out a questionnaire, in which they pick from a list of pet names for the recipient, ranging from “Honey Bunny” to “Hot Stuff” to “Boo Boo.” They can also select descriptors of the potential gift-giver, such as “macho” or “commanding.”
Then an email is sent to the designated recipient, featuring a flirtatious blond woman called “Santa’s Helper.” She advises the viewer that “It’s time we had a serious talk, Honey Bunny” (or whatever the selected endearment). The helper says the sender is “lucky, isn’t she, to have a man like you?” and highlights a gift the sender has picked out, sometimes providing a link to her wish list. “Let’s face it,” the virtual helper says, “if she’s happy, you’re happy.”
Wow, you hardly have to talk to your loved ones or reflect meaningfully on what makes them happy. Thanks, creepy technology!