This advertising campaign is sure to raise a few eyebrows. Suistudio, a company which makes suits for women, has decided to do something a little different with a familiar theme for their new marketing. A total role reversal. Women in suits and naked guys sprawled around as props. Personally, I think it’s pretty awesome.
I’m going to say it because I have to say it. Some of you may find the images below NSFW. I suppose, though, that will depend on where you work. I don’t like that I had to censor the image above to appease the social media gods, either.
Role reversal has become something of a hot topic in the last few years. I’ve seen it tried in a few marketing campaigns, but it almost always falls short of the mark. Yes, they highlight the situation of inequality that we all already know exists, but they do it at the expense of advertising’s actual purpose.
They depend on shock and controversy to spread the message of inequality. You rarely remember who the company is or what the products being sold are, though. It feels like they’re just jumping on the bandwagon, and are easily forgettable.
Or, they attempt to highlight inequality in such a terrible way that it just turns customers away from the company. Oh, hi Pepsi!
From a marketing standpoint, this campaign is quite subtle in its message of inequality, yet I think very powerful. To me, these images make the situations appear just as “normal” as the scenes we’ve traditionally seen in advertising. Where the men are in the suit and the women are the naked props. Here, the focus is still definitely on the company and their products.
As well as gender, the images also challenge racial inequality.
To me, these send a much more powerful message than all the ranty videos and campaigns we usually see. From all sides of the various debates. These make the situations appear just as normal as the those we’ve seen in advertising for decades. And the more that people start to see situations like these as normal, the sooner they will just become accepted as normal and the inequalities will start to disappear.
As a guy, seeing the naked guys in these photos, it doesn’t bother me one bit. Are they being objectified? Maybe. But it’s not like it’s being done against their will. Does it make me feel any “less like a man” to see these guys in the photos? Also no. Do the images make me feel intimidated by or afraid of “powerful women”? Again, nope.
I photograph women a lot. I photograph guys, too, but it’s just worked out that ladies tend to be the subject that appears in front of my lens most often. When I photograph women, my goal is always to make them look and feel strong, confident and powerful.
So, intimidating? Don’t make me laugh. They are not something of which to be afraid. They’re to be admired, just as much as any powerful or successful guy.
I am curious to hear what others think about this, but well done, Suistudio, I say.