Popular beauty vlogger Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, has jumped onto the Advent Calendar bandwagon — and fans are not impressed with what her lifestyle brand has whipped together. Zoella is one of the most influential fashion and beauty vloggers in the UK, and owns the lifestyle brand Zoella Lifestyle. Over the years she grew her lifestyle blog into a thriving international business, which mostly focused on bath and beauty collections, and then expanded into home and lifestyle ranges.
While fans and followers are happy with her tutti-frutti bath bombs and Instagram-able notebooks and planners, they were not impressed with the Advent Calendar she put forth for the holiday season. And for good reason.
The Zoella 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar has 12 presents tucked away into its box and costs £50, or $66. But what's inside has people fuming.
Containing home and lifestyle products that "will brighten and accessorise your home and life," the box holds 12 gifts, "from beautifully scented candles to stunning accessories, stationery, baking goodies and other special surprises," according to the product description. Sounds cute, right?
In theory, yes. But once buyers started opening up the cardboard doors, they found what looked like dollar store buys. All together, you receive a small pack of confetti, seven stickers, a star-shaped cookie cutter, a gingerbread-man-shaped cookie cutter, a small bag, a Festive Cookie candle, a small Christmas Clementine room spray, a pen, a fluffy key ring, a mini notepad, and a Cosy Christmas candle. They were all mini versions of bigger products, and felt unimpressive for the large price sticker.
Twitter users decided to tally up the receipts and see how much these items would have cost them if they hadn't paid extra for the brand's name. And the results were a bit inflaming. The cost would roughly be £20, or $26, which is about half the cost of the box.
While the items might look dreamy when they're styled up on a flatlay, if you take them off of the distressed-wood table and shove away the geometric ornaments, the items are a bit lackluster — especially for such an exorbitant amount of money.
Some fans expressed their disappointment on how Zoella might be using her name and fame to pull money away from impressionable teen followers who look up to her as their YouTube idol. Younger buyers are more susceptible to brand-name marketing, and people felt it was an unfair way to make money.
Others pointed out that lower-income families will likely be trying to buy this for their Zoella-obsessed kids, and what they will get in return will be a let-down.
YouTubers also jumped into the fray, where they filmed unboxing videos to capture their reactions and thoughts on the holiday box. To say the least, they were hilarious. Take @JaackMaate for example, who first opened up the door with the ornament, and blankly asked the camera why he was holding "a biscuit on a string."
While the backlash was all concentrated on Sugg, her spokesperson pointed out that, while Sugg curated the collection, she was not involved in the pricing.
"Zoe is incredibly proud of the Christmas collection and excited to see it in store. However, the pricing and in store promotional strategy of the collection, including the calendar, is at the control of third parties and is not set by Zoe," the spokesperson told The Independent.
Sugg herself created a response video to the controversy surrounding her calendar, confirming she only had control over the creative process and the product itself, but not how much the retailers sold it for. Because of the angry backlash at the stiff price, Boots is listening to its customer-base and is slashing the price in half to appease its shoppers, selling the Christmas calendar for £25 from Nov. 16.
That just shows that rallying angrily on Twitter works. Well, sometimes.