Saturday, January 30, 2010
Diesel Jeans are Wicked Stupid
We’ve spent much time discussing advertising that is either rational/intellectual in its orientation, meaning that it contains useful information that is intended to help consumers make purchase decisions, or advertising that is emotional, meaning that it tugs on your heart strings in order to make a connection to the consumer with the idea that consumers are likely to purchase products and services to which they feel the closest and with which they identify themselves e.g. “I’m a PC or I’m a Mac.”
Now comes Diesel, best known for their jeans, with an ad campaign that beckons the consumer to be stupid. In fact, that’s the tag line: “Be Stupid.” The idea behind the campaign is summed up in a copy line from one of the ads: “Smart listens to the head. Stupid listens to the heart.” The implication, I think, is that listening to the head, isn’t much fun. Listening to the heart, however, can be. In other words, feeling is much easier than thinking. The campaign continuously plays on this theme by developing constructs for us: brains vs. balls; what is vs. what could be; plans vs. stories; and no vs. yes. Each of these suggests the same thing – decisions are better left to the emotions. Not a particularly original message, but one that upon review of the campaign you might find engaging.
If advertisers can dislodge us from our rational selves (if you even believe there is one?) they are better able to manipulate our emotions. Feelings are fickle, but rational thought is not. Nudging consumers into an emotional corner is, if fact, the goal of much advertising that seeks to contain and control the consumer.