About 10 days ago a local Pakistani brand called Stoneage unveiled their Fall 2013 ad campaign, in a perfect world it would have fizzled out like countless other campaigns but in the hypocritical society like ours it generated heated debates about its presumably vulgar denotations, the piety of our society, and some other equally absurd delusions.
The ad campaign features a fair, smooth skinned, jewel-eyed male model effortlessly lying on top of couch wearing a low slung pair of fitted jeans. If you were perceptive enough you would realise I single handedly sensationalized a trivial post. It is not the first time that Pakistan is looking at such imagery we have been using models in various modes of undress since 1980s(male models have been shirtless since PTV and DAWN days). It is people who have become increasingly sexually repressed and cynically intolerant about sexuality overtime.
On a popular marketing forum called Khalid Alvi Marketing Next few seemingly respectable and experienced older gentlemen did their part of jihad discussing “sharia compliant advertisements” and flaunted their “holier than thou” status. It is to be noted that sharia compliant advertising would be same as Islamic Banking which in turn is nothing but bullshit to justify bullshit,so yea good luck with that). It is interesting to note that none of them own a single article from Stoneage brand as obviously they don’t happen to be the brand’s relevant target group.
In a society where these “Pak Daman Hazrat” pleasure themself looking at turkish TV soaps and indian songs suddenly an ad campaign creates a furor and taints their vulnerable social fabric. Ads such as those of “BIG apple by Murrey Brewery) continue to be ok, but condom promotions should be pulled off air. If you continue to fuel sexual appetite of populace and don’t give them an outlet to express their sexuality in a healthy way. Sexual crimes, promiscuity and the likes will continue to haunt us.
These Stoneage ads famously reference Calvin Klein jeans ads from 1980s and 1990s shot by Bruce Webber and legendary Richard Avedon. Calvin Klein‘s first controversial jeans advertisement showed a 15-year-old Brooke Shields, in Calvin Klein jeans, saying, “Want to know what gets between me and my Calvin’s? Nothing.”
Another fellow blogger wrote furiously that highlighting heros was marketing, use of provocative imagery wasn’t. To counter his own argument, both Stoneage and Levis did the heroes thing and it has become tired now. So much so even Leisure Club has started to ‘showcase the local’ element. Provocation sells! $EX sells! Calvin Klein famously said, “Jeans are about sex. The abundance of bare flesh is the last gasp of advertisers trying to give redundant products a new identity.” If you don’t want it to be blasted across billboards, put forth a lawsuit in court or better yet stop buying or going to the brand’s store. If you really are that big of “mard momin” what were you doing spying on their pages and all in the first place?