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Exploiting murder for higher sales is OK, as long as its a guy.

Wrangler's got a new ad campaign. The tagline is "We are animals", and apparently, dead people is now considered "edgy". Here are the ads, apparently running in France:

These ads are more than a little off-putting. Why is looking at people who have been murdered going to make me want to wear their jeans? It's not sexy, it's disrespectful and crude, and most definitely in very poor taste. But misogynistic? Apparently so!

According to Vanessa at Feministing, these ads are abhorrent. But only the one featuring a murdered woman is disgusting. The guy? Eh, not so offensive:

Apparently the cowboy jeans company decided to "spice up" their ads a bit: by featuring corpses along with the tagline, "We are animals." Because, you know, murder is so hot right now. The one after the jump is so disturbing (trigger warning) that I honestly felt like I might throw up. I don't think I've ever seen the sexualization of violence against women so disturbingly portrayed on an ad before.

See, only the one featuring a murdered woman makes her want to throw up. Only the murdered woman is disturbing. The murdered male is not nearly as important. Of course, the male ad seems to indicate more violence than the female ad does. The male's jeans are ripped and torn, and besides just being wet, are stained with some kind of darker residue -- blood? mud? -- which isn't exactly clear. It screams murder. The female ad, however, does not seem to depict death quite as much. It's a little more ambiguous. Her body is stiff, her arm is flexed, and it's a little hard to tell whether she's dead or just... swimming topless through a dirty creek. She even appears to be semi-erect, with her head clearly raised at a higher angle than her back and legs. She's clean, aside from the mud, and there are no rips on her jeans, nor blood or bruises to immediately indicate violence. Is she dead or alive? It's a little bit tougher to tell than in the male ad, where he seems to quite obviously be a corpse.

But it's the female ad which is offensive because of the indication of violence, not the male ad, even though the male ad seems to portray a more violent picture than the female ad. So what are the point here? That exploiting murder for profit is OK as long as it's a guy? Classy, Feministing. Real classy.

There's also some delicious irony in the complaining of feminists about violence perpetrated against humans, given that they're all pro-choice. I guess that doesn't count as violence in their eyes. But that's another post for another day.


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Comments (19)

What's even harder to accep... (Below threshold)
epador:

What's even harder to accept is that I prefer Lee jeans [gag].

I thought the darker bits o... (Below threshold)

I thought the darker bits on the male were remnants of the trash bag he was stuffed into, but perhaps I've read too many trash novels.

On second thought, no. They would have to cut him up to put him in a trash bag.

Also, there's really nothing about either picture that confirms the body is dead. Either could be artfully (but not tastefully) arranged. Sick, either way.

I really hate this because my husband wears almost exclusively Wranglers because they FIT him. Wouldn't that have been a better ad tag?

Lighten up Miss Fiano!<br /... (Below threshold)

Lighten up Miss Fiano!
First it was pregnant men that upset you, now it's dead bodies. What's next, are you gonna start complaining about blatent child porn in advertising? Jeesh,we can all make it down the highway to hell w/o you lighting the way.

serious part> Actually, I am slightly surprised this hasn't garnered at least as much outrage as the A&F ads of the past. Kinda like the case of ol' Doc Kervorkian wherein every step towards the cliff, that isn't universally condemned,somehow gets us closer to taking that final header onto the rocks below. Will mysteries never cease?

What do they think they are... (Below threshold)

What do they think they are accomplishing with this kind of advertising? Disgusting.

A little research could go ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

A little research could go a long way. This ad campaign is about humans acting as animals, including foraging for food and water, hiding in the weeds, crossing a street in headlights, and I suppose having been attacked by a predator.

This does seem like a really stupid campaign, and I have no idea what the appeal might be. But it is somewhat of a jump to twist this into Wrangler "exploiting murder".

This seems to be another on... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

This seems to be another one of those ads that, after you've seen it, you don't know what was being sold. It's a kind of subliminal message which is designed to bypass the conscious sales resistance most people develop by the time they're 2; well at least in the advertisement saturated environment we now live in. If they weren't effective they wouldn't be spending money producing and running them.

If they weren'... (Below threshold)

If they weren't effective they wouldn't be spending money producing and running them.

THREE CHEERS FOR DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES TO SELL SELL SELL!

THREE CHEERS FOR D... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
THREE CHEERS FOR DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES TO SELL SELL SELL!

I didn't say I approve, only that I understand what's being done and why. Personally, I like ads that inform me of a product's features and advantages. However, that doesn't work for selling fashion, art, beauty or other abstract qualities. Not everyone wants to buy their clothes from Fleet Farm or from Tractor Supply. What, you don't think there's a place in the world for products with abstract value?

Not everyone wants... (Below threshold)
Not everyone wants to buy their clothes from Fleet Farm or from Tractor Supply. What, you don't think there's a place in the world for products with abstract value?

I get all my jeans at Tractor Surply.Wait! Wus that some kind of a shot? Come on Fleet Farm,let's git 'im!

Seriously though,there is a place in this world for that kind of swill,I think Miss Fiano is just saying, "Hey!Could we have some sort of standards here?Like,oh,say,something other than goring any and all traditional western institutions at every turn?"

Just to add to the words I placed in Cassys' mouth,personally,I find it moronic and simpleminded to constantly portray your patrons as sub-human,stupid,or that they would break the laws of creation "in an Absolut world".If you consider the concept of projection as a possible trait of those you are targeting for sales,being uplifting would seem to be the way to go but,we are talking about Europe here. Ah yes,sweet Europe,where the suicide rate approaches that of the (native) birth rate.

Are you European? I see,that explains the idea of dungarees as a "product with abstract value".

Cassy, I am in no way defen... (Below threshold)
MikeW:

Cassy, I am in no way defending academic feminism, but you seem to fishing for outrage. I can't see any way of reading that blog entry to suggest that violence against men is OK. She brought up the second shot as a particularly gruesome example. Then she gives a quote saying "featuring the jeans models engaging in some animalism pre-death...?--I've no idea. Don't ask me to explain. I cannot." Doesn't sound like she's condoning it to me.

I am honestly at a loss to see what you found offensive about this. Was she not offended enough at the first shot? You've walked into this with your preconceived notion (all feminists hate men) and have taken the most tenuous link to "prove" it. You need to take a step back. There's plenty to dislike about activist feminism, but you're barking up the wrong tree here.

I see,that explain... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
I see,that explains the idea of dungarees as a "product with abstract value".

If they were selling just "dungarees" they would have to compete with dungarees made in China and selling for half the price or less. There's a lot more profit in selling some abstract fashion or cool value even if that image is manufactured by the advertisement itself. The young among us want to set themselves apart from their parents' generation and one way to do that is to embrace things people older than them find shocking. If you don't get it just flip the channel when such ads come on. I get it and still flip the channel.

Oh, Mac Lorry!Didj... (Below threshold)

Oh, Mac Lorry!

Didja have to respond to my throw away comedy line? The substance man! The substance!(I'm all about the substance,really.)

Okay,and-a one-a more time! IT'S ALL ABOUT STANDARDS. If everything from rock 'n roll to dungaree ads is simply a never ending game of one-upmanship, where does it end!?! It is not "normal" for kids to want to shock their parents. Common? Yes. But normal it most certainly is not. It is ever abundantly more clear that the world will tolerate anything, accept that which it percieves to be intolerant,ie: Christians. For,as we all know,one must be some kind of inbred "begatter" to criticise images of dead bodies in jeans ads,or muslims for simply being what their religion demands (Not that anyone would ever dare mention what that really entails.NO, that would be racist and intolerant.)

No,I am not outraged,I am amazed at peoples willingness to surrender the concept of standards, all in the name of, "Hey man,don't getcher shorts in a bunch! Have a sense of humor wouldja?" Well, sorry,but I believe in sacred cows, and those who scewer mine will not benefit from my patronage.

"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Thank you for the light Lord, I will not tarry.

Wow... more classy stuff fr... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Wow... more classy stuff from those famous TREND SETTERS across the Atlantic. barf..

Being Italian, I'M glad I only wear sweatpants....lmao

Count me as agreeing with C... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Count me as agreeing with Cassy's premise on this one. First, after viewing the photo set at Adsoftheworld, it was obvious to me that the writer at Feministing had totally misunderstood what was going on in this ad campaign (as an aside: I don't know how she could do that. Hollywood may not know how to depict a dead body, but no top-tier advertising agency would make such a basic error as to have "bodies" with living tissue coloration). Therefore, the comments of the Feministing writer give us an opportunity to examine the workings of her mind when those workings are uncluttered by the constraints of reality.

What she's told us about herself is that viewing a woman, wearing jeans, in a jeans commercial, trying to mimic the behavior of an animal drinking at a watering hole at night is such a "disturbing" representation of the sexualization of violence against women that it made her want to throw up. And it makes me think it's possible the writer is predisposed to see (all?) things in that context.

Maybe Cassy missed the context of the ads too, but it seems likely she was led astray by the Feministing writer. Some might even apply Cassy's comments about the ads, "disrespectful", "crude", "poor taste" to the ads even understanding the context. Still Cassy's premise was the mind set of the Feministing writer and I agree, it's myopic.

Okay,and-a one-a m... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Okay,and-a one-a more time! IT'S ALL ABOUT STANDARDS.

We're not talking about religion here, well maybe you are, but I'm not. We're not even talking about the things so important to society that they get enacted into law and enforced rigorously. What we are talking about here is pop culture and fashion. I get it that you like standards, most old people do, but who's to say your standards are correct, and just how draconian are you prepared to get to enforce them?

If everything from rock 'n roll to dungaree ads is simply a never ending game of one-upmanship, where does it end!?!

If I knew were "it" would be just a year from now I could make millions investing in the next big thing. Sorry if the world is changing too fast for you to keep up.

It is not "normal" for kids to want to shock their parents. Common? Yes. But normal it most certainly is not.

Ok, my fault. I should have said I was talking about planet Earth, not wherever you're coming from.

No,I am not outraged,I am amazed at peoples willingness to surrender the concept of standards, all in the name of, "Hey man,don't getcher shorts in a bunch! Have a sense of humor wouldja?" Well, sorry,but I believe in sacred cows, and those who scewer mine will not benefit from my patronage.

I already figured out you were stuck in your ways. Age does that to many.

"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

Of course if you understood what that verse meant you wouldn't be mixing it with your talk of standards. Hint, it has nothing to do with keeping standards or the law.

Why'd Wrangler use this? Se... (Below threshold)
AT:

Why'd Wrangler use this? Seems like something up Dove's alley. "Campaign for real beauty!" Pssh. Frankly, I find the corpses more visually appealing than the uggos and fatties they've been using.

I think it is a metaphor fo... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

I think it is a metaphor for Brett Favre's career: Mostly beat, thought to be dead, but we can't be sure.

Favre is the TV commercial guy for Wrangler Jeans and former QB of the Green Bay Packers who retired and now plays for the JETS...for those that didn't know.

So, France, eh?Hop... (Below threshold)
newton:

So, France, eh?

Hope they know how to fashion-advertise burkas...

I actually find the "We are... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

I actually find the "We are animals" concept more offensive than the rest of it, since it embodies an entire corrupt and wrongheaded world view. The Darwinists are selling us down the river [maybe that's the ad's symbolism] and have been for so long that we don't even notice any more. Brian's explanation is supposed to comfort me?




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