Irreverence, intelligence, and humor are admirable and difficult traits for individuals, let alone brands to own. However, Italian fashion house Diesel seems to have bucked the trend tying all three together again in their latest “Be A Follower” ad campaign by Publicis Italy and Toilet Paper.
It was close to ten years ago that the house firmed the three-pronged positioning with their ‘Be Stupid’ campaign in 2010. The narrative played on the concept that planned, and analytical ‘Smart’ was a bore, but irreverent and spontaneous ‘Stupid’ was always a good time.
The campaign was full of adventure, humor, youthful sexiness, and intelligence. It also worked with an element most fashion house shy away from, copy. Good copy can help great images be even more memorable and Diesel has long been the only fashion house outside of Kenneth Cole to leverage it.
In a modern update on the ‘Be Stupid’ campaign, the house has conceived a social campaign concept poking fun at the aspirations and downside of being a social success. In an age where everyone thinks they are five minutes away from being Inst-famous, and ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be fabulous to have that life,’ Diesel points out the benefits of being a follower.
By example, Jennifer Grace of @TheNativeFox is shown grunting while pushing a mountain of luggage through an airport with tongue in cheek copy of “Influencers Cannot Travel Light.” Kristen Crawley @kristennoelcrawley gets up to depart a party to be ambushed by people looking to grab a selfie with her while copy “Influencers Can’t Sneak Out Of Parties” paints her pain point.
In each case, a ‘follower’ is later depicted at the opposite end of the spectrum, traveling with nothing but a folded up shirt and a stick of gum to the chagrin of eager-to-arrest customs officials, or running with friends out of a party to their car for their next adventure, all coupled by the tagline “Be A Follower.”
The intelligence and irreverence of the situations are punctuated by the ironic casting which includes real influencers Jennifer Grace @thenativefox, Kristen Crawley @kristennoelcrawley, the twins @amixxamiaya and @ayaxxamiaya, Elias Riadi @eliasriadi and Bloody Osiris @bloodyosiris.
The message of the benefits of living freely without the pressures of being tethered to digital is one psychologist and educators the world over are getting behind, and the irony of the Deisel campaign poking fun at digital while dishing the campaign out on the medium isn’t lost to us. Nor is it to the Gen Z target which is used to being criticized for being self-absorbed slackers. But in creating a campaign that enables them to participate as well as laugh along with their critits, Diesel is ‘Crazy Stupid.’ And we like it.
Agency | Publicis Italy Creative Directors | Thiago Cruz & Mihnea Gheorghiu Creative Development & Photography | Toilet Paper Creative Directors | Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari Director | Filippo D’Andrea Photographer | Pierpaolo Ferrari Artist | Maurizio Cattelan Talent | Alex Binaris, Jean Chang, Ami & Aya, Jennifer Grace, Kristen Crawley, Elias Riadi, Bloody Osiris Stylist | Marc Goehring Digital Creative Director | Sandra Bold Creative Director / Head of Social Media | Marco Viganò Senior Copywriter | James Andrews Art Directors | Cecilia Moro & Alice Teruzzi Jr. Art Director | Alex Eftimie Copywriter | Francesca Ferracini Jr. Copywriter |Anton Kuerschner