Life is Like a Designer Knock-off

Originally posted December 16, 2008

I saw a TV advertisement last night that struck me as beautiful. Filmed with blurry, dreamy images of exotic locations and travel scenarios, the aesthetically-pleasing commercial appeared right at home airing on the Travel Channel – during a break for No Reservations, a personal weakness at the moment.

While music plays, teasing little bits of inspirational prose dance around the screen:

A journey is not a trip.
It’s not a vacation.
It’s a process. A discovery.
It’s a process of self-discovery.
A journey brings us face to face
with ourselves.
A journey shows us not only the world,
but how we fit in it.
Does the person create the journey?
Or does the journey create the person?
The journey is life itself.
Where will life take you?

And I’m hooked. Images of boarding a plane to Morocco are dancing in my head as the ad subtly ends on the logo of…

… Louis Vuitton?

Ok, there’s a disconnect here.

I’ll admit I’m not exactly Louis Vuitton’s target demographic. I can say with complete honestly that the majority of times I’ve beheld those precious “LV” initials have been on the arms of my classmates at Georgia State University who bought cheap imitations off the carts parked outside the Five Points Station.

Louis Vuitton is a luxury luggage designer. I get it. It makes all the sense in the world that they would want to place an ad on the Travel Channel. But am I wrong in associating the appeal of this brand with the desire to own an item with a designer label? Please correct me, because I’m willing to learn, but do people really buy Louis Vuitton bags because they’re looking for something individual or unique? I can’t really hear anyone saying, “wow, those multi-colored L’s and V’s are just so… me.”

It’s hard to think of a brand that represents “self-discovery” less.

Am I completely off base here?

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