Mixing advertising with politics – Revolutionary or idiotic?

Diesel have recently released their new advertising campaign; “Make Love Not Walls”.

The advertisement features people from all walks of life, different cultures, different sexualities and different beliefs. There are two key things that unite them all as one.

The first, the way that they are all separated by a large wall yet they overcome this obstacle with love and togetherness being the forefront of the advert. The second, is the fact that they are all dressed in Diesels latest fashion range.

The advert creates a feel good euphoria for viewers at the expense of recent political events that have seen President Trump’s Mexican wall scheme ridiculed by the majority of the planet.

The short film directed by David LaChapelle has had over 200,000 views on YouTube already with “#MakeLoveNotWalls” being tweeted over 100,000 times since the film was posted on YouTube on the 14th of February.

Despite the vast popularity of the advert, there still seems to be some animosity surrounding the political connotations within the film.

This may be the reason that the advert has had very little television air time on terrestrial channels and why various people hold the opinion that Diesel’s attempt to take on a political standpoint, has taken away from the promotion of the actual brand.

Diesel’s campaign film features a multi-coloured tank symbolising love and how nothing can stand in its way. The different ethnicities and backgrounds of the individuals that feature in the film represent equality and acceptance, a feature in society that has been called into question so regularly.

For years most brands would try desperately to avoid politics in their advertising and perhaps there was a reason for this.

Although the advertisement has had a lot of positive feedback, there were various comments on the fashion brand’s YouTube channel that said that they found the short film “uncomfortable”. Another user argued that the short film had the potential to “belittle some of the most serious issues present in modern day society”.

The negative comments on the video stem from the notion that Diesel has exploited recent political upset. Circumstances that have a serious affect on the lives of millions are being tainted all in the name of selling jeans.

If this perspective is adopted by more consumers, the campaign could have a potentially devastating effect on the way the general public perceive the Diesel brand in the future.

Nevertheless, it is important to acknowledge that a large number of viewers believe that the issues addressed in Diesel’s campaign, need to be presented in a more positive and joyous fashion and that in turn, the advert is a triumph. One YouTube viewer wrote “In the dark and dingy society that is modern day politics, this is completely refreshing. Thank you Diesel”. This demonstrates just how conflicting opinions can be when using politics as the heart of an advertising campaign.

When looking at the campaign simply from a marketing perspective, Diesel have certainly got people talking. Conversations around politics are inevitable. Be it on the radio, the television or at the dinner table, it’s almost impossible to go 24 hours without hearing some form of political discussion (whether you chose to listen or not is another story) so why shouldn’t Diesel insert their brands name into that conversation?

So it is revolutionary or idiotic? Much like beauty, the answer lies in the eye of the beholder.


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