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What Are They Smoking at Macy's Ad Agency?

We don’t understand why Macy’s full-page newspaper ad for Elizabeth Arden cosmetics (page A16, San Francisco Chronicle, January 12) is headlined #ONLY ONE STAR. Seems like having only one star is a bad rating for any business or product. What could they possibly have been thinking (or smoking) when they created that lame headline?!

(Posted by John Maybury, Pacifica Riptide, Pacifica, California)


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Todd: Urban Succulent and Pacific Java -- cool places. Much better than Macy's, where I rarely find anything necessary. Very good lattes.

Deirdre, there is a little shop in Rockaway that has small- to medium-size artisan pots. I go by there often to the little java cafe next door. Some of those pots are really beautiful.

"Are we not men? We are Devo." Does Macy's sell flowerpots?

Guys, guys, guys, you are talking about a store, a big store where women shop -- like, walk around and shop, leaving us to sit on benches "guarding" their handbags. Stop it!!! Stop blogging about it. We are men, dammit!

....and smells like 'YMCAs'

But then Macy's is an anagram for scamy.

I switched from Kohl's to Macy's when I realized that Kohl's is an anagram for 'shlok'

Macy's red star came from a tattoo the founder got while working on a whaling ship in Nantucket.

"A red star, five-pointed and filled (★), is an important ideological and religious symbol which has been used for various purposes, such as: state emblems, flags, monuments, ornaments, and logos. ... The five-pointed red star is often used as a symbol of communism. ... It was one of the emblems, symbols, and signals representing the Soviet Union under the rule of the Communist Party."

Macy's logo is a single red star.

The full headline to their current advertising campaign is "ONLY ONE STAR is your destination for __________."

Fill in the blank with 'fashion,' 'beauty,' etc.

Consider the "only" in Only One Star to mean "exclusively" and One Star refers to Macy's as in the company's single red star trademark. Overall, I think the double meaning of the ad is meant to be amusingly self-deprecating -- an approach that worked pretty well for, say, Jack Benny's character.

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