In an attempt to jump on the body positive marketing bandwagon with many other brands, Wrangler Europe has released a video reminding women that we are more than just our bums. But in an attempt to be empowering, the ad actually comes across as condescending, and even a little pervy.
Starring singer and musician Kimbra and a handful of other talented women from athletes to journalists to choreographers, the almost-four-minute-long commercial spends quite a bit of time zooming in on various women’s asses...all while reminding us that we are more than our asses.
The commercial ends with the hashtag #MoreThanABum splashed across the screen, supposedly meant to encourage women to share their thoughts and opinions about being just that.
But women on Twitter weren’t buying it. After all, we don’t need anyone to tell us that we’re more than just our bodies.
Facebook users have had similar reactions, which prompted a response from the company. Wrangler Europe acknowledged the ad’s criticisms in a comment that has apparently now been deleted. The comment was saved as a screenshot and tweeted by The Digital Fairy.
In the comment, Wrangler Europe explained that the ad’s format was intentional:
We are happy to feel the passion revolving around this ― and to spark a conversation was always what we wanted. This is why we have used this kind of imagery: to grab attention ― then point it towards a more positive way to see the women beyond it.
They also defended the ad and explained that its purpose was to both encourage women to feel and look their best while also reminding women that they should be celebrated for more than just their looks:
Our Body Bespoke line was created around this idea: that a line of jeans engineered to look great on everyone’s behind means women stop wasting time trying endless models on, so they can move on to what they really want to use their time and energy for.
In a statement to The Huffington Post, Wrangler said that the ad was less a message to women and more a message to fashion and marketing industries.
It’s not talking to women ― of course we know we are more than our bums. The campaign is a message to the fashion and marketing industries who feature women’s butts only ― without talking about who they are, their stories or their achievements. The campaign is commentary on advertising, it has been misconstrued to be a “reminder to women”. It’s not. The client team and the agency team are all women. We would never think of being condescending in this way.
The ad was created to advertise the Body Bespoke line which is cut and sewn for each size ― not scaled up from size 0 like most jeans. Bespoke jeans, bespoke women with bespoke achievements.
Wrangler’s intentions seem to be good, but the ad totally misses the mark. Better luck next time, guys.
This post was updated to include Wrangler’s comment to The Huffington Post.