Quick, without a lot of examination, what do you see in this photo?

How about this one?

This advertising gambit is being discussed all over the blogosphere.  The conversation always seems to go like this:
BLOGGER: Look at this sick campaign by Wrangler, using dead bodies to advertise jeans.
COMMENT 1: Sick!
COMMENT 2: Gross!
COMMENT 3: What?  They don’t look dead to me.

So I wanted to find out what you all saw without first telling you what I expected you to see.

Personally, I thought the top photo was a dead woman, though there’s no evidence that the model is female.  I thought the second photo was also a dead woman, though on closer inspection I see she’s propping herself on her elbow and holding her head up.  Nevertheless, she does appear to be severely bruised and has a wound on her shoulder, and she’s half naked, drawing a clear sexualization-of-violence-against-women connection, even if she apparently lived through the attack.

The question remains, why would such imagery inspire anyone to buy that brand of blue jeans?  And what exec in his or her right mind would approve such a campaign? 

On the other hand, these pics are being discussed all over the blogosphere, and in advertising, all publicity is good.

I’ma stick with my Levis, thank you.


29 thoughts on “FIRST IMPRESSION

  1. I saw wet jeans in the first one, like he jumped into the ocean with his jeans on, and now he’s sunbathing.  The second one looks as if she’s dead in the water…so to speak.  Hopefully, she’s just cooling off!

  2. I didn’t actually think death, but the woman in the second photo has a huge bruise on her back.  That’s supposed to make people want to buy Wranglers?  OTOH, she doesn’t look dead to me, since her arm muscles are clearly flexed and she’s holding her head a little bit out of the water.  

  3. They do it to get tons of free advertising and views and thier name all over the place by bloggers who repost thier ads and get people to talk about thier company.  Seems to be working.

  4. Both of those pics would not sell me anything.    They are extreme, definitely…….but not something that would grab my attention as in advertising greatness.

  5. I called my husband over to get his opinion last night, and we both thought they looked like dead bodies.  The second one even looks like it’s floating in dirty water.  I thought they were sick.  I wasn’t sure it was a real thing!

  6. Here is Wrangler’s contact Info:Call us.If you have a concern, never hesitate to call us toll-free at 1-888-784-8571. Friendly folks are standing by Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm EST, ready to answer your questions or track down the information you need. Or, feel free to write.If you’d like to send us a note, please address it to our customer service department at: Genuine Wrangler™, Attn: Web Customer Service, PO Box 21488, Greensboro, NC 27420-1488.

  7. Wow, I totally thought those were freaky dead bodies.  Especially the top one with the shredded jeans. The second one is very Margaret Atwood-writing-against-violence-against-women to me.  That is very very strange and creepy, in my opinion.  I am not looking again!

  8. I took a few minutes and researched it and apparently it is actually an ad campaign for jeans for zombies. I read recently that zombies are something like the third fastest growing demographic (just after hispanic and retiree) so we may be seeing more ad campaigns targeted at them.I guess since they are only running the ad in magazines specifically targeted at zombies it is a little less weird, but still…(this was my husband’s take on this… (-: )

  9. Apex of bad taste.  So everyone is talking about them?  Yea, talking about how messed up the ad campaign is and how their Levi’s are just fine.RYC: She really does love to perform in front of a crowd.  Because I come from a “media family” my knee-jerk reaction is in that direction.  We do have some performing arts programs in the area.  Not a lot, this is the central valley (tractor pulls, nascar and street racing are the predominant “performing arts” ’round here) so options are extremely limited.  I will look, though.  I managed to find a magnet school with a curriculum which would either concentrate on the arts or sciences (why can’t it be both!?!?).  They take kids in using a lottery.  And it’s not far from our home.  I hope to get lucky.  Thanks for your opinion.  It is valued and respected.Now, If I could just afford to move them back to Santa Cruz!

  10. Crime scene photos, without a doubt (except for the tagline in the corner). Closer observation shows the bottom one is holding herself up a little, but do we want to have to look that closely to realize it is not a corpse?  I was tempted to visit the Wrangler site to see if they had an explanation to offer, then realized that visiting their site is what they want. As someone who has lost someone close in a drowning accident I find them to be in indescribably poor taste and doubt I will ever buy their product now.

  11. I definitely thought the first one was a dead guy.  The second I thought was just a half-naked woman swimming – it looked like the ‘bruise’ on her back was just a shadow in a hollow in her back, to me.And as for who it appeals to – I don’t know about your area, but where I live there are a certain type of people who wear Wranglers, and these ads would probably appeal to them in a big way.  Redneck is a state of mind…

  12. If you look at MS. Magazine, each issues features such ads (along with the addresses of companies so you can direct your outrage) on a back-page spread titled (appropriately enough), “No Comment.”   

  13. Yeah, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, as long as they spell your name right. I never wore Wranglers anyway–I wore whatever cheap-ass jeans managed to fit, which was usually some brand no one’s ever heard of made in Vulgaria or Moronica.

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