Is this an unfortunate first-time mishap or a genius marketing tactic? We can’t really tell but somewhere in his glorious home, Brian Atwood must be feeling the sting of having his first advertising effort get the axe in New York City. The New York Post reports that Atwood’s maiden print campaign starring Candice Swanepoel has been barred from appearing on the façade of his Madison Avenue store. The campaign video, set to play on the city’s Taxi TVs, also suffered the same fate.
When we saw one of the first ad images from the campaign last month, we bluntly thought the set was reminiscent of a sex siren’s private lair. We knew sexuality was at play but little did we know that Atwood would kick up the sex ante about three octanes higher. After watching the 48-second campaign video titled “The Sex is in the Heel,” we have to admit to the porno insinuation and orgy metaphors reeking under the heavy blue lighting.
The film begins with a butt-naked Swanepoel sitting in front of a wall of television screens, watching equally naked men and scantily clad women go about their sexual business. Even better (or worse), the voyeuristic allusions of the short sees Swanepoel feeling the heat of all the action she’s watching as she writhes on the desk and in bed. There’s a lot of caressing, touching and thrashing going on, which is understandably too risky for a minor commuter to see.
According to New York Post, the private vendors operating the Taxi TV screens have content control. As such, there could be hope that not all taxi cabs have banned the said ad. Then again, the label has reportedly already mitigated the scandal by providing a toned down version of the print ad that was then accepted by the Madison Avenue store’s building administration. As for the more controversial campaign video, a less-lascivious version in the form of a behind-the-scenes teaser will replace the risky original.
While labels occasionally get in trouble for their advertising campaigns, we can only assume the Atwood camp is reeling in disappointment. This is a large first campaign effort, in the first place. So do you think this ad really crossed the line? Watch the campaign video below to see what really went down.