Thursday, March 16, 2006

Stripe this!

Am I the only one who finds the Old Navy ads aggravating?

The latest ad for “stripes” is just the latest in a long line of aggravating Old Navy ads. At least this one looks professional; the last several seemed to have been shot with hand-held camcorders and edited on a cheap PC.

But the new stripes ad infuriates me. The repetitive song—isn’t it a skipping song?—coupled with the enforced jollity of the dancers makes me think of summer camp counselors. Maybe that’s who they’re appealing to. But how big is the market, even if you include newly certified kindergarten teachers?

I think that the most off-putting aspect of the ad is not just the childish attitude of the young adults, but their eagerness to obey to the song: join hands, everyone! Smile, we're all happy! Their conformity - they're all 21, all the same height, all thin, and they all wear the same expression, not just the same clothes!

I know tribalism is a powerful force, but doesn't it remind you of 1984, and not in the same way that Apple's famous Superbowl ad did?

What do you think?

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