Victoria’s Secret Just Doesn’t Get It


…or maybe they get it too well.

No, these Victoria’s Secret models aren’t wearing Halloween costumes — they’re just so heavily Photoshopped that one can barely recognize them as real-life human beings.

We don’t know about you, but we find the brand’s UK “perfect body” campaign to be a bit odd given all the recent studies telling us that consumers want more “authenticity” and emotionally rewarding “relationships” with brands. The tagline for this campaign might as well be “we’re perfect and you’re not.”

Shockingly, that public is less impressed with this campaign than jaded New Yorkers were with their new “ambassador” Taylor Swift.

The Telegraph tells us that the ads sparked serious backlash in the UK last week and inspired another one of those petitions (which has more than 15,000 signatures to date).

The funny thing about this move is that it flies in the face of all trends in the space. Back in January, Aerie got attention for swearing off Photoshop; remember when Dove planted a “restore the altered photos” tool on Reddit back in early 2013 and the nation of Israel won praise for being the first to ban “unhealthy” models from runway shows?

As the backlash began to build, social media sentiment converged on the #IAmPerfect tag…and look who picked up on it yesterday:

Here’s some more commentary:

Well, yes, that’s technically true. But, as our handy invisible copy of Corporate Messaging 101 tells us: if you have to explain yourself, then you’ve already lost.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: October 31, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT