Professor Michael Bedsole
16 September 2012
Every company wants to have fresh ideas for their ad campaigns, to draw in their audience. Sisley attempted to draw the consumer in using an advertisement that depicted two women participating in illicit behaviors. The advertisement may have been considered humorous, had it not been so vulgar. Sisley’s attempt at reeling the consumer in resulted in an effect that definitely caught the eyes of their targeted audience, but not in a way that could be considered positive. Is fashion, an addictive and destructive vice, destroying its intended and targeted audience; the consumer?
In 2007, the fashion line, Sisley, whose parent company is United Colors of Benetton, released a print ad with the words “Fashion Junkie” in the center of the page. At first thought, without having seen the ad, a person would not have thought anything negative about it because the term “fashion junkie” is widely used by those who love fashion. In the ad, though, it depicts two young, beautiful women partaking in behaviors that would be considered classless. It is set in a dark room that gives an eerie feeling; it gives the viewer a sense that there is nothing happy or light about Sisley’s line. One of the women is sitting down while the other seems to be leaning against the table. On the table there is a credit card with white powder on it. Next to the credit card there is also a white strappy dress lain on the table that the women seem to be “snorting” as though it were cocaine. The women’s position against the table seemed to show a need or dependency for the drugs shown. The women are wearing what looks like party dresses. Both of them are wearing makeup that is dark and have their hair loose and down. One of the models is looking towards the viewer, in a way, with a lifeless expression in her eyes. Both their facial expressions give the idea that they are strung out on illegal drugs, obviously. In the center of the page it reads “Sisley” in all capital letters with the words “Fashioin Junkie” underneath. The word “fashion” was misspelled; it is kind of a play on words to make fashion sound like heroin. Sisley attempted to sell their line of clothing by inferring that their clothes are addictive and leave you craving more from them. Unfortunately, they failed in that respect. The main focus of the advertisement should have been the models and the garments that they were wearing, but immediately, the first thing noticed is the zombie-like expression of one of the models. On the other model, one of her nipples is very clearly noticeable.
Sisley’s sister company, United Colors of Benetton, led the way in the fashion world during the eighties, defining fashion at that period. Benetton is known for marketing their brand while always addressing national and international issues. As sister company to Sisley, it is very unlikely that Benetton would want to be associated with Sisley when they are releasing such racy advertisements that can be taken negatively in more ways than one. The advertisement also showcases a credit card from Chase Bank that looks like it was used to cut the lines of cocaine. Sisley makes it seem as though Chase Bank is condoning this behavior and serves as support to the addictive lifestyle that fashion and drugs bring.
Looking at the advertisement, the audience most likely assumes that the two women pictured are models. There are already many negative conceptions about models and this advertisement verifies those conceptions in a way. Many people in the general public look at models as super slim women with weight management problems as well as drug problems. People like Kate Moss further stimulate these stereotypes and misconceptions. It seems as though Sisley was attempting to use the fact that models do drugs in an effort to manage their weight to manipulate their audience’s mind by having the two models “snorting” the dress through...