Last month, Dutch menswear brand Suitsupply launched its new campaign and just as the years before, created a storm of criticism. The ad campaign of the fashion chain with hip and semi-affordable suits was labeled sexist, by both men and women. You can read a sample of the hate tweets in this article by Buzzfeed.
After some thinking, I’d like to add another voice to the conversation. Here’s why I think the 2016 Suitsupply campaign is NOT sexist.
The campaign is called Toy Boys
As in boys to be played with. CEO Fokke de Jong told BuzzFeed News:
“I think our press release and idea about the campaign says a lot. Its called toy boys depicting the men as little dolls together with giant beautiful women that play with the men. Sexism implies inequality, If you want to read any form of sexism in here than it has to be towards the men they obviously do not have the upper hand here.”
In the ads, the guys are the handsome cousins of Tyrion Lannister, living in a giantess world. Their play, of which I won’t deny having a sexual undertone, is allowed by these giant women who don’t seem to take these little men very seriously.
Women just sell beter in ads.
Women’s wear brands just have it easy. They can easily say the pretty model is functional, as someone women can relate to. Right. Like I can relate to a white, 6 feet, blond-haired, size 0 and cup D woman. Everybody likes looking at pretty women. Even women will look at women, regardless of their sexual preference. Women sell better. It’s not sexist, it is a primal biological response. And smart marketing if you dare taking advantage of that response.
And what about the Wefashion campaign?
A few days ago, I saw a billboard for women’s wear brand Wefashion. Compared with the Suitsupply campaign, to me it is this ad that is sexist:
Really? A Barbie style office? And redoing your lipstick as quality control? Okay, so maybe this ad is meant to be just as ironic as the Suitsupply one. And maybe it’s me that can’t see the humor in this ad. But honestly. I like Suitsupply’s right-in-your-face way of using sex as a marketing tool better than this secretive one.
What do you think?
xoxo – Irene