What do Southern Comfort and Boux Avenue have in common? Other than the fact that one might drink the American spirit while wearing the British lingerie, not much…until yesterday, when both made news in the advertising world in regards to utilizing non-traditional-looking models.
Southern Comfort introduced a new video via social media, soon to be followed with TV-length versions on the boob tube. Or in this case, the moob tube. So this first effort by their new agency, the revered Wieden+Kennedy, is a visual train wreck – which makes it compelling enough to watch the nearly 2-minute video to the end. Featuring a middle-aged (I guess?) guy walking through a beach in all his out-of-shape and out-of-fashion glory. No words, only a soulful soundtrack from Odetta (whom I had the absolute honor of meeting back in the 90s) that proclaims “I gotta be me.” The commercial concludes with a close up on a glass of the gentleman’s hirsute belly, in front of which is a glass of Southern Comfort proclaiming “Whatever’s Comfortable” via a tiny drink umbrella-type sign. Message: it’s a real guy with a real drink. If you’re a real guy, drink this real drink.
And what do real women look like? According to Boux Avenue, who makes lingerie of many sizes (bras up to 40H), they look like gorgeous plus-size 16 model Robyn Lawley, who is the face of their new campaign. This is a different realism…while her size may be more in line with today’s average, her beauty is anything but. In fact, when I look at these photos, the last thing I think is “she’s a big girl.” The message: wear our pretty underthings and you’ll be pretty, too. No matter what size you are.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a nod to Dove, whose Real Beauty campaign made news about 6 years ago by utilizing real women of various sizes. Unfortunately, they made news a few years later, when it came out they had retouched the photos. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to see how this trend is becoming bigger.