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                                                    H O M E |    A B O U T |    A D V E R T I S E

9/30/13

The New Looking Good...

Here’s an advertising trend that comes up every now and then: putting glamorous apparel on models made to look sad/greasy/hostile. I’m stumped by this. Why would it help sell an outfit to show that outfit on a person who looks miserable? There must be a method to this madness, or so many designers wouldn’t be doing it. But what? What’s the thinking?
To get my head around the idea, I tried to envision how each of these ads came to be, by imagining a conversation among these characters:
Ad Exec: Mike
Photographer: Steve
Models: Zelda, Daphne, Marcia, Lisette, Brenda, Chloe and Babs
(* None of these are the real people’s names, obviously. They’re just people I’m making up in my head.)
* * *
Celine
Mike: So Zelda, what we’re going for here is warmth of coat, coldness of heart, OK?
Steve: That’s right. Zelda, give us a look that says, “I fucking hate this navy scarf and my ex-husband who gave it to me.”
Zelda: Got it. Can you guys get the lighting a little more harsh? Let’s see if we can create the effect of bags under my eyes, symbolizing the baggage we all carry through life.
Mike: Zelda, you are a genius.
* * *
Prada
Steve: Mike, I don’t feel like this is going to work. The client wants “anemic, angry, and disheveled,” but Daphne here is just too damned attractive and perky.
Mike: You’re right, Steve. Here, let’s comb some salad dressing through her hair.
Daphne: What the SHIT, you guys?
Steve: YES. Get MAD, Daphne. THAT’S the look we want!
* * *
StellaMcCartney
Marcia: Um, this jacket is like four sizes too big.

Mike: Zip it, Marcia. We have a strategy here.
Marcia: Zip it? There’s no zipper.
Steve: He means “zip it” like shut up.
Marcia: You guys are mean.
Mike: Get in the pool, Marcia.
Marcia: Wha-?
Mike: GET IN THE POOL, MARCIA.
* * *
Zadig & Voltaire
Mike: So, Steve, what the company wants here is to reach the audience of women who bite their nails, cut their own hair with yard shears, and perform home perms on themselves.
Steve: Because those are the women most likely to wear red pantsuits?
Mike: Exactly.
Steve: Lisette, can you cover up all that exquisite bone structure with your bangs, maybe put your hands up in front of your face, too?
Lisette: I think so. How’s this?
Steve: Slap my grandmother, that’s perfect.
* * *
Barneys
Steve: Mike, I can’t work with Brenda. She’s too human.
Brenda: I don’t have to be human. I could be an inanimate object.
Mike: A day late and a dollar short, Brenda. Get out.
Brenda: F*** you guys. [leaves the room]
Mike: Well, Steve – what are we going to do now?
Steve: I’m going to bring in this freaky life-size marionette instead. See?
Mike: I love it! This works out great, Steve, because as you know, this brand is really looking to target women who identify with giant-faced, creepy-eyed, disjointed wooden puppets.
* * *
Marc Jacobs
Steve: Wow, Chloe and Babs, you two are beautiful.
Chloe: Yeah, we get that a lot.
Babs: Honestly, it’s kind of a curse.
Steve: Well, let’s see what we can do about that. Both of you, close your eyes, take these scissors, and cut your hair. Make sure you leave about 5 inches in the back. Great. Now, rub this Vaseline on your heads. Perfect. OK, Chloe, give me a look that says, “My dad ran over my puppy.”
Chloe: Like this?
Steve: Perfect. Now, Babs, I want you to give me your best open-mouthed, double-chinned, borderline mentally disturbed look.
Babs: Like this?
Steve: No, more.
Babs: Lahk dis?
Steve: Bingo
Mike: We’re all going to be billionaires, people. This is cash money on the table, right here.
So remember this fashion lesson, folks: You’re never fully dressed without a simmering glower.
* * *
Article brilliantly written by When I Blink 

15 comments :

  1. this is hilarious I remember seeing the last ad in a mag and I was like wtf???

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  2. Haha! I often wonder "what were they thinking?" with some of the styling in ads. This is genius!

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  3. Thank you for such an entertaining post! But really, I don't understand these ads either.

    Ashley
    http://allthatglitters.co.nr

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  4. Seriously! This is horrible marketing and does not make me want to buy the clothes AT ALL.

    Hilarious commentary!

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  5. This is so perfect Nicholl! The last one KILLED me. I was on-board with the slightly disheveled hair thing J Crew had going on (I caught your hilarious post about that too!) but this is just terrible. I may do anything NOT to look like these ads, which would def include NOT buying what they're selling.

    xoxo,
    Chelsea & The City

    Today is the last day to enter my 2 year blogiversary giveaway for a chance to win a Baublebar Pave Links bracelet & sweet hanger necklace!

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  6. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. And thank you for sharing.

    Stop back by I Miss You When I Blink anytime!

    -MLP at I Miss You When I Blink

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. This made me laugh so hard -the last was HYSTERICAL!!! Thanks for this :-)

    -Jill @ ConnecticutCoutureStyle.blogspot.com

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  9. Hilarious, I love it. And seriously dead on. :)

    Vicki
    wildeinthecity.blogspot.com

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  10. That last Marc Jacobs ad is ridiculous!! What even is that face?!?!?

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  11. lmao!!!!
    -Ash
    www.thestylizedwannabe.com

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  12. Hilarious! I'm always puzzled by the way these models are made to look. XOXO

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  13. I think you are becoming one of my favorite fashion bloggers. I love it!

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