A new Australian ad campaign for Elle Macpherson Intimates contains an ad that shows two lingerie-clad models in a kitchen acting as if they were in the latest cheesy horror flick wielding knives at each other. The ad has caused many complaints and is said to have gone too far. Macpherson calls the ads "beautifully haunting and ambiguous" but Liz Longhurst doesn't think so.
Longhurst's daughter Jane was murdered by a man obsessed with necrophilia and she feels that the ad should be banned because it connects sex with violence. Longhurst wrote in The Daily Mail "Without the sales pitch, what is there in Elle Macpherson's campaign but the picture of a faceless woman, clutching a knife, in titillating underwear. How easily could that become a distorted fantasy for some."
She has a point. Sex and titillation is one thing. Aligning it with violence is another. There's no doubt this campaign was conceived knowing full well it would cause controversy and press coverage. In the minds of marketers, consumers have been so desensitized that tactics such as these are deemed effective, appropriate and even arty.
Elle Macpherson Intimates is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year, a campaign featured a keyhole view of a model some claimed was masturbating. No one ever died from masturbating and there's nothing damaging about an ad that might cause people to masturbate more than they already do. There is something very wrong, though, with an ad that makes knife wielding look sexy.
In early August, we commented on the fact John Waters' new movie A Dirty Shame won't need it's promotional posters retouched, as where the posters of Keira Knightley for King Arthur, because star Selma Blair has more than enough (albeit fake) curvature to satisfy. In fact, the movie may not need posters at all because Nick Denton's Gawker Media has been hired by the movie's producers to custom publish a weblog, called A Dirty Shame, about the movie. Written as a sub-blog of the Hollywood focused Defamer by Remy Stern who wrote Gawker Media's first custom published blog for Nike called Art of Speed, the blog will discuss and promote the movie which opens September 24. It's a weird, weird, weird looking movie but then, what John Waters movie isn't? This A Dirty Shame blog should provide all the information and entertainment any John Waters fan could ever hope to find.
To create anticipation for its new television commercial featuring a very tall woman walking through Buenos Aires, Lee Dungarees created the 90 Foor Babe blog written by "Natalia," the 90 foot babe herself. She talks about how a 90 foot woman goes about her modeling jobs, the process of shooting a commercial, being stalked by paparazzi and speaks of her time spent with Buddy (of Buddy Lee noteriety, of course). The blog is sprinkled with pictures of "Natalia" and her 90 foot self in various locations and photoshoots. There's even a play on her writing her own phone number on the side of a building during the shoot which leads to an answering machine with "Natalila's" voice on the other end. It's all very interesting and the spot itself is just different enough to be enticing.
The New York edition of commuter paper Metro has hired a bunch of Anna Wintour look-a-likes to promote the paper. The Anna's could be spotted this morning in Bryant Park. Full size images here and here.
The models were dressed in head to toe in Chanel-esque suits and shiny brown shoulder length bobs to honor a famous fashion editor and icon.
This was Metro's final bash as Fashion Week drew to a close ending a great week of parties and fashion.
Metro is the largest and fastest growing international newspaper in the world. 37 daily Metro editions are published in 54 major cities in 16 countries in 15 languages across Europe, North & South America and Asia. Metro has a unique global reach - attracting a young, active, well-educated audience of more than 14 million daily readers and over 32 million weekly readers. Metro has an equal number of male and female readers and 70% are under the age of 45. Metro's advertising sales have grown at a compound annual rate of 47% since the launch of the first edition in 1995.
UPDATE: Metro Promotions people found the real Anna Wintour on the streets and actually got her to smile.
Ad-Rag points to an ingenious and hilarious little viral video that Nike has daringly and admirably funded and endorsed to promote its new Sphere jacket. Not your average ad but, then again, the average ad is headed for the graveyard.
Following a Talent Zoo article by Danny G in which G offered comment on the upcoming Advertising Week, the American Association of Advertising Agencies has un-invited the advertising recruitment and resource site from speaking at the event. Perhaps prompted by G's comment on the value proposition of Advertising Week, "It'd be more valuable to show the business world how great agencies solve real marketing problems than to have Aunt Jemima give Mr. Whipple a hand job in Times Square," the AAAA's had a hissy and pulled Talent Zoo's speaking invite.
G's point is that Advertising Week is not a fair representation of the advertising industry and he suggests that not only the icons of advertising (Tony the Tiger, Jolly Green Giant or Captain Crunch) get play but, humorously, so should, "Ashley The Scantily-Clad Creative Summer Intern or Rhonda the Token African-American Employee Who's In Either Media or Accounting, I'm Not Sure." The AAAA's didn't take kindly to that alternative view and sent an email dis-inviting the group. Talent Zoo President Rick Meyers also says the AAAA's "wouldn't recognize site's like Talent Zoo or blog sites as media outlets."
That's diametrically opposed the the Association of National Advertisers who has their own blog and has invited Adrants to attend their upcoming annual event.
We had our own comments late last year on the AAAA's Advertising Week event that were aligned with G's and while we still feel like it's going to be a self-congratulatory party (we can't pass on a good party, now, can we?), there's some merit to drawing other businesses and the public into the world of advertising. After all, the advertising future will be a world where consumers, to a great degree, not marketers, control how marketing messages are consumed.
Any first time event is bound to attract comment and that's a very good thing. It should be welcomed. It only helps to improve the future of said event. Banning participation by groups that may have an alternative viewpoint, though, is a very bad thing. There's no left without a right. There's no positive without a negative. No night without day. G's comments might have been a bit inflammatory and any organization has the right to choose who they'd like to attend their events but banning a valuable resource from exposure to the very people who need it is The AAAA's shouldn't be afraid of Talent Zoo. In fact, one of two things would happen if the AAAA's allowed Talent Zoo to attend - both good for the AAAA. If Talent Zoo take G's tone to the event, Talent Zoo will either add great humor to the event or get booed off the stage.
The AAAA's wins both ways. And yes all you "conflict of interest" nudniks, Talent New lists their jobs on this site but we'd feel the same way even if they didn't.
UPDATE: According to MediaPost's The RIff, the AAAA's has reinstated Talent Zoo's invite.