How do I know this? Well, not to judge by the looks of most Americans…but, that certainly would be a mitigating factor…Instead, I’m judging from this week’s Men’s Fashion Shows taking place in Florence – Pitti Uomo. It seems that companies, or their advertising agencies, simply can’t attract the business. So, they’ve decided to follow in the foolish footsteps of Diesel [the ones who came out with the Beevis&Butthead tag line, ‘Be Stupid’ to promote their styles – as if adolescents needed any more encouragement] and give us a whole slew of pathetic and positively raunchy campaigns.
Taken straight out of the Ogilvy annals, ‘If you can’t talk about the product, get people to talk about you’ I offer the crème of the crass crop [I refuse to name the companies, so as not to give them more reason to regurgitate their rancid campaigns]:
- One company has lined the streets of Florence with dead cadavers, crime scenes, blood, guts and all, along with offering up scenes from the school massacre in Beslan (Russia), where over 400 were murdered, 156 of them children. Yeah. That’ll truly make me want to rush out and spend my money on ‘clothes to be shot up in’. In the wake of the Tucson shooting spree, it’s even more tasteless in its timing.
Advertising Age: about 12 yr. old video gamers – too bad they don’t buy their own clothes.
- Another has Jesus hanging in agony on the cross, imploring you not to succumb to evil, and help yourself by buying their clothes. Unless they’re selling togas, this is sheer idiocy (and, as the Italian press emoted, blasphemous in the extreme). My recommendation? Try that tactic with Mohammed, and see how cute the public thinks you are. You better have bomb-proof glass at your Company headquarters.
Advertising Age: clearly not done by any real agency, I’d give the advert an age of 16, the brainchild of the owner’s up & coming son.
- And then we have provacateur extraordinaire, enfant terrible, ('Terrible' being the operative word), of the consummate self-serving egomaniac of Benetton fame, Oliviero Toscani. For his Menswear promo, he’s released a calendar. Great. I’m thinking a male version of the Pirelli calendar. Oh. Wait. No, this one is a series of women’s genitals, month by month. Certainly not a turn-on for women, and seriously off the mark for the legions of homosexual fashion buyers frequenting the shows.
It will be a dark day when the King of Taste, Giorgio Armani, is no longer with us. Because if this is a glimpse into the future of fashion, we'll need more than Jesus to help us out.