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Category Archives: Advertising

Movie Night – Ottawa

My friends at Alliance sent this along:

April 14th at 7pm/Empire 7 Cinemas – 111 Albert Street

Following the screening guests are invited to Heart & Crown (Byward) – 67 Clarence Street to mingle and received a complimentary gift bag full of swag. RSVP to with “Movie Night Ottawa” in the subject line. Must be 19+, reply by Friday April 10.


the brown bunny, numero II

This girl is just really hot. And the fact that she’s getting ready for some Vincent Gallo is even hotter, even if the guy is a complete sexist ass. Looks like Terry Richardson should have called this “ode to The Brown Bunny minus Chloe Sevigny.”

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A failure in pastiche

Today’s post discusses advertising. Although not fashion related, I felt it necessary to discuss Moxie’s latest campaign as it relates to the “treating women as sexual objects and subject to the male gaze” topic that I’ve discussed here and here.

Moxie’s Bar and Grill has been known to hire girls for the following reasons:

a) they have blond hair

b) they are sexy and/or slutty

c) they are somewhat good looking

Before you say anything, I assure you, the feminists are already on it!

I want to talk about Moxie’s latest advertising campaign, “”. Please download the PDF here to see what I am talking about. All three ads are reminiscent of misogynistic Axe advertising. What’s more interesting is the website attached to this, visit Upon logging on, I was asked my age and province of residence (something usually associated with alcoholic beverages websites or porn related sites). Then I was asked to choose a female or male companion to play the “Mojo Game”. It doesn’t end there, I must make a move and I offer my companion a drink, there are three options and I opt for a Double Scotch, he chugs it (it’s a real model) and says “heat all the way down, like the heat I feel with you.” Now we are at dessert and I decide to give him some Cuban Chocolate Moose Cake. He says, “baby that’s what I like.” Wait, why did we skip dinner? The website then tells me I am in the mood for a little romance. I don’t understand the point of this game so I play again.

This time, I click on the woman and she’s much more sexy (not look wise but her voice and gestures) than that male companion I just wined and fed dessert to. She’s got way more chances with me then he does, hahah. Let’s start off with some drinks. My girl is “so glad she gave into this temptation” when I offer her a Raspberry Temptation. Now, I have the option of offering her dinner. WTF? Why was I not offered this option with the dude exactly? Anyway, I offer her Wild Salmon on Capellini, but before I do so, I wait a little bit and she starts checking herself out in the mirror. “Quintessential” female behaviour when we are bored for like two minutes, right? Oh Moxie’s you sure know women! Who is the art director for this thing any way? Back to dinner, my date inhales the meal and tells me it reminds her of Italy. I am 100% she’s never been but she starts saying something in Italian, probably about wanting to skip dessert, take me home and make out with me in the cab. Still unaware I am not the sex that interests her (but with a few more Raspberry Temptations, she may be (the Moxie’s logic)), the dessert menu arrives. I would take the cab offer but the website won’t allow me to skip dessert, and I think she’s going to love the Banana Carmel Xango. Success, she says it makes her “happy”. So once we are done our meal, this is what the website tells me:

You’re definitely feeling amorous today. Wine, warm ambiance and sensual food reflect your mood. Being a lover not a fighter means you’re always willing to go the extra mile to please. Let the tantalizing and endless possibilities at Moxie’s keep your romantic mood going”

Flooded with sexual innuendo, Moxie’s is really cutting it close here. Their print and billboard advertisements are sexist and mysoginistic. Their website is unnecessary and plain stupid. It reminds me of this website a guy in my grade 10 computer class used to visit called ROMP.COM. The other funny part is, Moxie’s is failing at copying a campaign that’s been done before. Word of advice, it’s better to fail at originality then to fail at pastiche, make sure your ad agency knows this.

Non, ce n’est pas magnifique.

As if American Vogue’s celebrity whoring isn’t enough (I thought In-Style was the celebrity style magazine?), Lancome has decided to use Anne Hathaway (of all people) in their new ad campaign. Out of all the celebrities out there, you couldn’t think of anyone else?

Okay, I know this was announced back in mid-June but I just saw the life sized poster of the Scam Artist Dating Princess Diaries star this afternoon. I just don’t like her. She pisses me off, a lot. She has a slight nerdy charm to her but I don’t find she exudes anything special. Plus, she’s one of those celebrities that gives her opinion on topics she clearly doesn’t understand (i.e. politics) and she dated an Italian scam artist but alledgedly “didn’t know” he was a scam artist. Right. How clueless can you be?

This brings me to my next comment: I just don’t understand fashion anymore. Models are working their butts off attending castings to grace the pages of fashion magazines for a reason. What do people who appreciate fashion (like me) get instead of models? Celebrities. Celebrities already get all the press and money, why take over a models job? First, celebrities cannot perfect posing like models can and they do not nearly look as good in the clothing. Second, it’s not like models are lining up to get cast as the female lead in the next Hollywood blockbuster – they know their place, so know yours, celebs. Ugh.

Let’s talk about one of the most notorious celebrity lovers –  Anna Wintour. Ms. Wintour continously uses celebrities on the cover of Vogue to sell magazines – even if the cover is absolutely terrible (September issue with Keira anyone?). She is also notorious for recycling content issue after issue and bringing us dull editorials featuring none other than those celebrities she so loves  (reference: October issue on newsstands now, Rachel Weisz cover girl and back to Sept issue with Keira). WHERE ARE ALL THE MODELS? Celebrities do not pose as well as models for these magazines, it’s not their job so stop it, please. Yes I enjoy repetition. Someone please remind Anna that she is the editor of a FASHION magazine and NOT a celebrity fashion and lifestyle magazine. If I wanted to read about Angelina’s latest outfit, I’d pick up an issue of People or US Weekly. Please, leave the celebrities where they belong and bring my models back.

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Runways fail to represent half the world’s population

Jezebel contributor Dodai writes many articles about the lack of black models on the runways of Milan, New York, Paris and London. After reading most of her posts on the topic, I completely agree with her arguments and admire the fact that she scans the archives of and counts how many models are not Caucasian. But Dodai avoids the bigger picture: her posts continuously focus solely on black models when ALL ethnicities (except Caucasians) are underrepresented on runways across the globe. I have written about this before, specifically focusing on the lack of ethnicity in fashion advertising.

Any fashion enthusiast can recite the names of the known black models off the top of their heads: that’s how scarce they are. Other ethnicities, even more scarce. Vogue Italia’s July All-Black issue not only sold out and was reprinted, but it caused an “outcry” amongst members of the fashion community and fashion enthusiasts and sparked up the debate about the lack of black models in the industry. Franca Sozzani, Vogue Italia’s editor, did a fantastic job with this issue because it does not remind me of the sameness found in the pages of Wintour’s American Vogue.

But, if we continue to focus solely on black models, the industry will avoid representing other ethnicities like Indians, Middle-Eastern, Asians, etc and will start trying to include diversity by only including black models alongside the majority of Caucasians. “Yeah but we had seven black models on the runway this time.” That’s not enough diversity. Adding five more black models to your line-up does not equal diversity when you have a total of 49 models in a 20-minute show. Black models would represent 14% of the runway while the Caucasian models have the majority with 86%. Diversify – there are tons of different countries in the world where you can find beautiful, well-toned women that just so happen to be 5’8” and up. Read this article to see Iman’s summary of Black models portrayed as caricatures.

Although most models are shipped in from Brazil and Eastern European countries where being 6’0” tall and skinny seems to be the country’s mission statement, they are still Caucasian-esque (in the case of Brazilian models, most of the famous ones, i.e. Gisele and Alessandra are of European descent).

People are attracted to exotic things and people; it’s basically a fact – where do you take a lavish vacation? North America? Not likely. Exotic women are beautiful, see the issue of Vogue India for example. The dark skinned model that graces the cover and the editorial is stunning (picture below). Why oh why is Anna not embracing this? There are too many models that look like they came off the last ship from Mars and landed on the runways of major fashion weeks and invaded the covers of Vogue, Bazaar and various other magazines. I hate it. The alien look is cool but we need to start embracing what half the world is, not blue eyed and blond. It’s noticeable that when ethnic models strut their long legs on the runway or pose for the camera, they just so happen to be some of the most beautiful people (I am not hating on Caucasian models at all (Tasha Tilberg anyone?) – I just want to encourage diversity).

I worked at a modeling agency for two years where our goal was to increase the visibility of ethnic models. Our roster had girls from all over – India, Syria, Vietnam, Ghana, and so on. Even the Caucasian girls we recruited did not fit the conventional look; they all had something unique that made them breathtakingly beautiful. Sadly, we seemed to be the only agency fighting for diversity. This past May during Ottawa Fashion Week; models from all races graced the runway. The correspondent at Flare magazine took notice and was pleased and surprised at the multicultural runway. Canada is a highly diverse and multicultural community, especially in larger metropolitan areas like Ottawa and that’s where we should start.

The question is, this has been an on going issue, right up there with other issues the modeling industry has been dealing with like drugs, sexual abuse, age and anorexia. This issue, however, doesn’t “physically” hurt anyone but it is, to me, considered a form of racism. Take for example the skin lightening creams women in the Eastern world use in order to rid themselves of their dark skin so they can look like the conventional Western woman. The fact that we are taught that women with light skin and lighter features is beautiful has an affect on women worldwide don’t you think? Even in India, where many of the world’s most beautiful women reside, considers the lighter skinned Bollywood stars as the most beautiful. Why? Because that’s what we see everywhere. Dark women are beautiful, again, check out the Vogue India model below, she’s dark and stunning.

So why is this issue getting into mainstream media now? Is it because Naomi Campbell refuses to retire from the runway because she’s afraid no black models will be walking on them anymore if she does? Is it the release of Vogue Italia’s all-Black issue? Who knows, but know this, ethnic models have always been underrepresented on the runways of major fashion weeks and even at the smaller ones (Montreal, Toronto). As frustrating as Naomi’s antics are, you can’t help but appreciate the fact that she, along with Iman, is one of the only ethnic models to be considered a “supermodel.” That is an accomplishment. Although I will continue to work at changing the way the fashion industry looks at ethnic models, I know that it will not be an easy process and can only hope that one day; they will all be represented equally, whether Black, Indian, Middle-Eastern, or Latino.

P.S. Have you noticed that all the models that grace the cover of Vogue Italia are lighter skinned black women? Think about that.

From left: Liya Kebede, Sessilee Lopez, Jourdan Dunn, and Naomi Campbell


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Worst Lovers



I’ve been to Armani Exchange once and that visit was enough for me to request to never ever be taken there EVER again! The advertisement campaign should have been a signal in itself. How could I have been so blind? I mean, can a woman really be attracted to these dudes? Which agency are they from “Gino Model Management?” The boys look like some 2005 resurrection of Latino boy band Menudo. I am surprised the hired wardrobe stylist didn’t incorporate white square toe shoes and white belts into the equation – they were, as we so fondly remember, synonymous with 2005. She or he did, however, remember to grab the dog tags and large belt buckles from her or his vault. At least, alongside the white stuff, she or he left out the faux hawks. I apologize for the she or he thing – I am unaware of the stylists’ sex.

Seriously, this ad is making me nostalgic. It feels like I went back in time, flew to Ibiza, opened my suitcase, popped in that Daddy Yankee CD and while I was jamming to this reggaeton beat, I realized I forgot my white shirt! Great, how am I supposed to show up at the Tiesto album launch beach party and pop some pills without it? Is there a Le Chateau around here?

Not only is the stylist stuck in time, the photographer seems to have the exact same problem. Did you see the poses? OMG (something I learned in ’05 for ya)!! Analyzing this ad, AX’s target market becomes apparent: AX is targeting North American Italians that resemble the Gotti brothers (see Staten Island Guido story for more details), whereas Giorgio Armani targets REAL Italians, not ones that are trying so hard to live up to the stereotypes. I am talking about the good looking ones you’ll see in ITALY (it’s true, a friend proved me wrong as she discovered a set of extremely good looking men on her trip to Italy). Living in Canada I always thought Italians looked like AX guys because of the stereotypes most Italian people (or of any culture for that matter) fulfill about themselves when they are living abroad. How is this line still in business? AX is mere proof that because the word Exchange has the name Armani in front of it, it is considered a decent brand. AX please, stop giving Giorgio a bad name.

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Watch my feet, watch my feet

Sorry Vic but your husband wins this round! To tell you the truth, I have never enjoyed any of Marc Jacobs’ advertisements. I feel like they [the ads] try too hard, just like Dov Charney and the pretentious people who aim to “shock” at American Apparel.

I wonder, do Victoria and David discuss their latest campaigns at the dinner table? Did Victoria get jealous of David, which led to her getting the Jacobs contract? I just hate it when people try different things and fail miserably at it. Stick to what you know how to do, in Victoria’s case, I am not quite sure what that is.

Oh, and this seems to be another case of Versace. Remove celebrities from fashion advertising, it’s not a Pepsi commercial.

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