I’ve been taking a little break from cooking up new recipes. It’s not because I no longer enjoy cooking, but because the others in my house haven’t been home much lately and I’m getting sick of eating everything myself! I don’t know about you, but after four days in a row of double portions of chocolate cake experiments I don’t want any more, no matter how delicious they are. I know, it’s a tough, tough life.
So to change the direction a bit, here’s the latest ad campaign for Diet Coke Europe, for which Jean Paul Gaulthier replaces Karl Lagerfeld as creative director. As much as I think he’s a talented designer, I find the ads, a series of three two-minute episodes, progressively creepy. In them, he plays the slightly sinister, Diet Coke-fueled fashion mastermind who sneaks up on hapless marionettes and drags them kicking and screaming into their fabulous new outfits. At the end of each segment, each marionette is asked if they plan to press charges – and they all decline, saying things like “Heaven knows how Jean Paul has transformed me into a real woman!”
Given the fashion industry’s history of treating models as easily manipulated, objectified mannequins I find the subtext a bit distasteful – and at the least, not very well thought through. Moreover, the series spends more time showcasing JPG than it does promoting Diet Coke, which almost seems like it was thrown in as a product placement afterthought. But don’t take my word for it – here are the three videos so you can decide for yourself!