May 31, 2011

Does Wonderbra lift and separate from the other handful of bra brands?

Over the last few years, there's been a particular branding campaign which has captured my gaze.

Even though the campaign isn't directed at me, I still notice these ads and can't look away.

"DD", Saatchi & Saatchi, 2006, 

Wonderbra is a lingerie company that's been around for most of the last century but really only uplifted its name globally in the 1990's. They differentiated themselves as the bra brand which not only enhances a woman's bust line but makes heads turn.

"Hello Boys", TBWA, 1994.

A controversial print / poster / billboard outdoor ad campaign by TBWA in 1994, with Eva Herzigova, kicked off this new creative strategy which spanned the globe and covered numerous different ad agencies.

But over the last decade, the branding campaign switched focus to a strategy where the ads displayed don't show the cleavage being enhanced but the results and consequences.

Focussing on the outcome rather than the eye-grabbing spectacle of the bras themselves, the campaign lets the viewer make the connection.

Some of these are rather obvious while others are more subtle and make you think.

"Shoes", Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore, 2002.
This ad caught my eye in a creative advertising magazine. It may not be apparent at first, but I think it works on two levels. The woman in the ad can't see her feet because she's wearing a Wonderbra. So she's unaware of the mismatched shoes. I also thought that no one else on the street notices her shoes as they are all looking at the woman's cleavage (not shown).

"Umbrella", Publicis, Paris, France, 2007.
It takes a while for some people to get this one.

It's not the vacant outdoor courtyard. Or the number of shopping bags.

(What's holding the umbrella?)

"Friends", Publicis, France, 2009.
A more obvious one but still direct and simple.

"Baby", possible spec work / mock ad.
This one is both funny and creepy at the same time. I can't seem to find an agency source for this ad which makes me think it may be a spec or mock / parody.

"Scooter", TBWA Praha, Czech Republic.
Not so subtle but still lets the viewer make the leap by the way the image has been cropped below the chest line.

"Economist", DDB Worldwide, Singapore.
This ad parodies the well-known,  long-running outdoor campaign for The Economist which is "written by intellectuals for intellectuals."

Some people have criticized this ad regarding its intention. Is the Wonderbra wearer quoted ("Linda Foster, CEO, aged 29") too smart for The Economist? Or is she not smart enough? Is it because she shows cleavage that she doesn't have to be smart to get where she wants? Is every man at her beck-and-call?

Or is it more simply that the bra works so well that the wearer can't see below it to read a magazine like "The Economist"?

I think the final suggestion is the idea DDB were trying to get across with this ad but some read it differently.

"Oranges", Copy: "Fits Naturally",  possible spec work / mock ad.
I couldn't find an agency reference for this ad so it may be another spec or mock ad. The oranges being a metaphor for the perfect "natural fit".

"Pants", possible spec work / mock ad.
Another possible spec / parody. The sheer number of these add to the brand as they are spread virally, but may be beyond the control of the Wonderbra company.

"Yellow Safety Line", Guerrilla Advertising, Euro RSCG, Singapore, 2008.
Interesting guerrilla placement by Euro RSCG Singapore - adding a second yellow safety line futher behind the regular line at public train stations in Singapore.

There has been criticism by some advertisers of Wonderbra's campaign in that it may not speak directly to its target audience of women. Some say that these ads have been designed by advertisers (predominantly men) for other advertisers (other men).

I don't agree with that entirely and I guess it differs from ad to ad. They do have a consistent visual element without the use of copy to convey their idea. It unhooks the viewer's mind to make the connection - that last step of "the big idea".

I've been meaning to cover this campaign in my blog for a while, so I'm glad to be finally getting this post off my chest (sorry for the pun/s... lol).

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