The problem isn’t the message, it’s the lack of a message

Wrangler are in a bit of a pickle having raised the wrath of the Twitterverse loud mouths over their latest campaign.

A campaign that tells women they are “more than a bum” and proceeds to show said bum in a sexy looking pair of jeans.

Women are angry because they believe the campaign sexualises and looks down at women. Ad people are angry because they believe the ad includes 0 fresh insights about women.

I’m not angry. Just disappointed. It seems like Wrangler has nothing of meaning to say about what it makes and sells. Their last big campaign had nothing to say so they said “Find Your Edge” which is like saying “be yourself”. And now they’ve replaced that generic strategy with the “female empowerment” strategy.

Different strategy, same damn thing — get on some millennial bandwagon because you don’t believe you can make what you actually make interesting.

But Wrangler shouldn’t be singled out. Google image search “female empowerment campaigns” and you’ll see plenty more brands on that band wagon. And don’t even get me started about the “be yourself” strategy. I got over 60 examples of campaigns (and brands) that use that to sell everything from beer to hotels to ugly shoes.

So the problem with Wrangler’s work isn’t that the message is somehow insulting. It’s the lack of a message that’s relevant.

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