Thursday, January 25, 2007

Brand takeover

Diesel’s website was ‘taken over’ a few of days ago by two women called Heidi who have kidnapped a young man and are holding him hostage until their demands are met. They are looking for “15 megabytes of fame” as well as a host of other demands, including changing the brand logo to 'Heidies'. Of course, all of this is being done with both parties wearing Diesel’s new range of underwear. Staged?

So far, the girls have made videos of their demands to Diesel, as well as videos subjecting their hostage to whatever their audience has voted on. Activities so far have included waxing Jaun (the hostage’s) legs, giving him a bath in jelly and sending him to work as their maid. User-generated content at its best/worst? What do you think?

The response on the website and on YouTube, where the videos have also been posted, seems to be mixed. Some like the direction the brand is taking while others hate the whole concept. Some just want to see the girls or guy take their clothes off.

Time will tell how well the campaign has worked for Diesel or whether it might damage the brand, at least in some of their customers eyes. I’m undecided. On the one hand I think it is quite clever and brave for the company to try something a bit different to promote their underwear. Famous mostly for their jeans, this campaign is highlighting another product that the company offers. It helps of course that the hijackers are all good looking with great physiques. Two unappealing girls and a not-so hunky male would not exactly draw the same amount of traffic.

However, using YouTube as a vehicle is no longer groundbreaking, at least not for a company of Diesel’s size. Many of the YouTube faithful do not like the fact that marketing is muscling in on the social site either. But without the videos’ presence here the whole campaign would have likely gone unnoticed.

I wonder also how long Diesel is planning to run the campaign for? Too short and they are unlikely to gain the attention that they are seeking, but too long and people will start to get bored. And, for some the campaign might go too far down the road towards porn, but for many it probably does not go far enough. But sex sells, right?

To decide for yourself, visit You may love it, you may hate it. Does it really matter though? The big question is, will it make you go and buy their pants?

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At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awful!! awful! awful?? That is some terrible 'acting' if ever I saw it... it sits in some no mans land, void like chasm between regular 'sex sells cheap shot ad' and REAL user generated homemade, unscripted, raw content... not at all amusing, particularly the waving of branded 'briefs' so unsubtle that it just makes me want to hurl!

yes, I don't like it. In case you hadn't realised

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Lisa Breslin said...

So, just to make sure, you didn't like it??

I can't say I hated it and it always makes me chuckle slightly when a brand is so blatently trying to pretend that they are not behind some guerrilla promotion of their goods. You just feel they are trying far too hard.

It didn't make me rush out and buy their pants anyway.


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