Ads are designed to make viewers remember a brand – but who says that impact needs to be a pleasant one? In this latest ad from a skincare brand, I think I've witnessed one of the oddest marketing videos to date – and I don't know whether to love or hate it.
This isn't the first time we've seen nightmare fuel advertising – remember that restaurant print ad that featured an unwelcome visitor and that bizarre Lamborghini ad that was just total gibberish. But if these brands are aiming to get a conversation going around their products, then job well done.
The ad by skincare brand EOS Products, shows an anthropomorphic fox lounging on a luxurious sofa as she speaks to the viewer in a silky voice. The oddness doesn't end there, however, as our canine friend has a lady draped over her shoulders as a shawl. She's alive. And she's naked, of course. The discomfort levels are off the charts, especially as the sultry fox gently caresses the smooth legs of the human lady and proudly states "these days, I would never leave the house without wearing my human."
Why? Well, as a skincare brand, the ad is intended to show off one of their latest shaving creams. The video is titled "Skin so soft, foxes will be jealous", and is meant to be a fun parody of humans wearing fox fur pelts as shawls which are also typically associated with wealth, hence the fancy setting of the ad. It's kind of brilliant, but there's still a big creep factor about the whole thing that has left me really – definitely a case of uncanny valley vibes.
In a secondary video posted to the brand's YouTube, we see a woman (a normal human one) sat on the sofa next to her adorable dog. As she speaks to the camera about the brand, she mentions using the new cream has come with some "unexpected side effects". We then see a furry paw reach out and stroke her arm as she talks, and apparently her canine companion can't keep her paws off her owner's new silky smooth skin. I can tolerate this ad a bit better than the fox one, but then our leading lady proudly proclaims "honestly, the tummy rubs are pretty amazing". Never mind.
I jest. Overall I love this campaign despite my initial discomfort. Ads for shaving products, especially for women, are usually depicted as almost sensual with a clean-shaven protagonist flouncing through a field or stroking her own legs. It's great to see something so unique and fun for an otherwise boring product, and I commend EOS Products for producing something so bizarre that it is, in fact, genius.
The campaign is the work of Mischief At No Fixed Address and it might merit a spot on our guide to our favourite witty ads. For more recent advertising hits, check out the brave Ikea adverts that are breaking one of the biggest rules of marketing.