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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Highdeas / American Apparel Ads by Hayes Hemingway

This was on the back of last week's LA Weekly, the west coast version of New York City's Village Voice. There I was, looking for the current issue and they were laying face down as opposed to face up. So this was what was looking back at me when I went to reach for it. I said "Damn, these motherfuckers keep pushing the envelope time and time again."

American Apparel is doing what Calvin Klein was accused of in the late 80s and early 90s: Porn-advertising. Don't expect them to stop anytime soon; this method has been working since they started using it. Will I ever shop there? No. Do I know the company? Yes. Will I smile each time I think and speak of them? More than likely.

They print these endorsements because they also know that it's going to start a conversation. What kind of conversation? They don't really care. They just know it's not going to be a boring one. You win the marketing game when people know your product regardless if they buy it. As a business you win when the public sees a similar item to the one you're selling, yet mentally they revert back to your product.

I can't front, I've long been a fan of American Apparel's racy photos portraying cute girls in suggestive positions. I'm such a fan that I would look forward to seeing the same squibs I saw in magazines enlarged as billboards. I loved getting off the Path train at 9th street in Manhattan, because there was always a billboard on that block of 6th avenue. Think "no detail spared." You know that's 100% worth seeing. I'm sure there are dudes who collect them. I'd find it cool if they put out a sticker book. I might be getting ahead of myself.

My girlfriend does not share my enthusiasm for those ads, so I celebrate them silently cause the last time I expressed my sentiments about those ads she turned into a human nagging machine. I'm talking about the kind that repeats the same question when they already know the answer -- just to hear you say it, so they can get madder. I'm sure she's not the only woman who got into it with her significant other about one, but in our case she had product placement on her side.

One breezy evening in March we were walking down Hollywood Blvd and she was telling me someone had retweeted something of mine, and instead of paying it no mind, I asked what it was. Bad move. It turned out someone else loved the ads as much as I did (no crime there) but it didn't help me any by denying its significance because my girlfriend isn't stupid. She's seen the publications. She's seen the girls. She's seen how they wear the clothes and what kind of positions they're in. She knows I like that. So initially she didn't have a great reaction to that.

Any other time I would've been in the clear just telling her it's hardly worth getting upset over, but we happened to walk by an enormous one on a wall and when I say it was hard to miss I'm talking "eye-level." Depicted: a ballerina rocking pink tights doing a split in a thong leotard.

I had no answer to my girlfriend's incessant "You like that?" I drowned it out, and instead strategized fanning out the flames. But I was dealing with a bonfire. You cant put one of those out with a few weak gusts of human air. You've got to smother it. So I hit her with, "Are we really going to argue about some people we don't even know? You know that doesn't make any sense right? They did that to get me to look, and to get you mad. Happy?" I think she flipped me the bird. With that the source of discontent shifted from the imagery to my denial, and that's where it stands to this day.

This morning when she saw the ad with young lady bent over, she simply looked at me and said, "I'll be away for a week. No masturbating to this while I'm gone." And before I could say something sarcastic, she ripped off the back cover and threw it in the trash.

1 comment:

Branded Baron said...

LOL that was funny. Whether you like the models or not, it's definitely about getting people to talk. They do know how to flaunt their apparel with very provocative poses. It shows the apparel for the ladies and the suggestive poses for the fellas or anyone who likes them.