For those of you who don’t know, let me begin by telling you who Janine is. She is a model turned fashion designer who used to be and still is quite famous in Romania. Her collections and perfumes have caught the media’s eye quite a few times, just as her marriage to Adrian Sarbu, owner of the Media Pro group did. The divorce was the highlight though, and everyone says her career going down the drain was caused by this marital mishap.

Well, Janine is now trying to get back in business. And she does so with a jewelry collection. The divorce did make her pretty rich and she now lives in France with her child. Now, with the money she’s got, one would think she has the best marketing and PR professionals working for her, people who are able to hire good advertising agencies or to at least know when something the agency proposes is very, very stupid.

In my quest to prove Janine needs to rethink who she’s working with, I’ll start with her site. It’s a PR 3 site with an enormous Alexa rank. And then the problems start:

– it is black and white which would seem cool at first. But once you see the tiny white writing on the black background, your eyes start to hurt. But all the photos of her designs, clothing, perfumes and jewelry, are also in black and white. So if you actually want to have an idea of how the designs really look like, tough luck for you! Try somewhere else! And seriously now, who would ever think to bother to buy something they only see in black and white? I for one know it’s not the real look, but I don’t really feel the urge to go visit her boutique…I have no idea where it is, I don’t have time to look for it, and they surely don’t tell me how to get there on the site.

– flash, lots of it. No direct links to a certain page. So if you want to recommend something out of one collection, you have to send a whole how to procedure: enter, click that, and that, and that, and that is the jewel/dress/perfume I needed your opinion on.

– it is the exact opposite of user friendly: tiny writing, no “stop the music” button, requiring a high ability to guess where what you want is.

– it is a highly unprofessional site: no real contact details, just a spinning envelope to send an email, no press section, no nothing. And they cannot seem to decide on the name of their jewelry collection. Is it Joyaux or Joyeaux? They have both names on the site. Pretty confusing.

– the site is in English only. I dare ask why. Janine is mostly famous in Romania. The domain is .ro, not .com. Her jewels are promoted on Romanian radio shows. So why doesn’t she offer the information in Romanian? Well, she just lost a lot of incoming traffic.

– if you don’t know how the site is called, you’re in trouble if you need to find it. If you search Janine, Janine perfumes, Janine jewelry or anything in that range, nothing relevant will come up. The only key words that work are Janine fashion.

I could go on, but I am sure you’ve got the idea by now. And then the masterpiece of the Janine promotion campaign. The radio ads for the jewels she’s just launched and wants to promote, and sell. Or at least I assume that’s what she wants. I already wrote about this somewhere else, so I will just sum up the main idea. The reason women wear gold jewels is to show their man’s power. And that is why, the jewels shown on site are promoted by a man. Nice muscles and all…But I’d really like to see how that jewels would look on a woman.

See, sex does sell. But in so many cases, it only sells itself. And with that idea of an ad, I have to wonder, who is she selling the jewels to? Is it men? They don’t want to show power by buying gifts to their significant ones when they buy jewelry! If they have such power issues, they just give enough money to their women so that they can go shop their hearts out. And it is the women who make the buying decision in most cases. Do you think a woman would like to have such a think thrown in her face: you buy jewels to show someone else’s power? I think even trophy wives would like to think it’s their power that they’re showing. In the end, they got this great, wealthy man that they can get to buy everything they want!

Then the add goes and mixed the power showing-off with tenderness and love. Big mistake. If it’s love, if it’s respect of if it’s friendship we are talking about, then there are no power games. So the whole potential target group is completely lost because of the initial statement that wearing such jewels is to show the other one’s power.

And now, let’s return to single women that prefer gold jewelry, to mothers buying such jewels for their daughters, to fathers doing the same, to independent women who, although in a relationship, still love to buy their own jewels. Where are they? Not in the picture? Is Janine sure there are enough trophy wives and shallow women for her to survive on? When there is strong competition out there? Are there enough snobs that won’t go for platinum directly? Or for shopping abroad?

One more thing, the collection features quite a lot of diamonds. Why aren’t those in the radio ad? I haven’t heard of diamonds. Then again maybe I was still shocked by the message the ad was trying to send. Maybe the ad is just a complete failure. I do happen to believe it is.

I have thought and though of this, and I still don’t get how she plans to make money out of her jewelry collection. Maybe it’s not money that she wants. Maybe it’s fame and awareness. But how will she ever get that with a dull and hard to find website and an ad missing out on the leading stone?

After thinking this over, I figured she either has a bunch of people who know nothing of what marketing and pr are all about working for her, or she is doing it all herself, thinking she is good at anything she decides to do. Either way, she needs a new team handling her business. Unless her secret wish is to throw money out the window and treat her career as a hobby to pass time.

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