With Women’s Day just around the corner, social networks like Instagram and VKontakte have become flooded with ads from Russian entrepreneurs offering women in Moscow the chance to rent impressive 101-rose bouquets and designer shopping bags for 10-minute photo shoots.
If your boyfriend is cheap, but you want to spark the envy of all your girlfriends without actually breaking the bank, or if you just want to make your boyfriend jealous, and you live in Moscow, Russia, there are a number of online services that you can use to have a gorgeous bouquet and an expensive-looking gift delivered at your doorstep for a 10-minute photo session. You can then post the pics online on March 8 and watch everyone go green with envy.
One of the many ads that have been popping up on Russian social media lately reads: “If you or a friend don’t have enough money to buy lots of flowers for Women’s Day, but want to impress all your friends with festive photos, we have a beautiful bouquet of 101 roses especially for you. We will deliver it at your doorstep and you’ll have 10 minutes to take as many photos as you like.”
Eugene, a young man who claims to be the first to advertise this kind of service, told Afisha Daily that he came up with the idea after seeing three girls in a cafe taking selfies with a bouquet of flowers. He adds that the service hasn’t been as popular as he would have hoped, but that overall feedback has been positive. Many users wished him good luck, and some asked him if they can use the service outside of Moscow (not at this time).
Still, his posts got a lot of attention after being shared on Pikabu, the Russian version of Reddit, and soon his idea was being copied by other social media entrepreneurs. There are now several such services available on Instagram and VK.
Apart from the impressive bouquet of roses, Eugene also offers single clients the chance to take photos with a male model, to make their friends truly envious, but mentions that the photos must not show the guy’s face.
Others have found other ways of promoting their services, offering designer bags and expensive bottles of champagne for women who prefer a bit of luxury. The 101-rose bouquet can be rented for 800 – 1,000 Russian rubles ($14 – $17) for 10 minutes, depending on the service provider, with the option of extending the rental period for another 10 minutes, for an extra 400 rubles ($7). An expensive-looking Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Guess, Armani or Tiffany & Co shopping bag costs 300 rubles ($5) and a bottle of Bottega champagne is 100 rubles ($2).
Although his service was thought up specifically for March 8, Eugene says that he plans on making it available after Women’s Day. “If there are enough customers willing to rent a flower bouquet on an ordinary day, then why not,” he said.
People’s reactions to these bizarre Women’s Day services have been mixed. While some have labeled them as stupid, or pathetic, others actually consider them a good way to take advantage of people’s vanity and make a quick buck. A few have joked that girls who actually receive 101 roses from their loved ones and post photos online will be in trouble now because people will think they rented them.