If anyone knows about Victoria's Secret, they know that the image it puts out is not for everyone. It's been in its advertising, the way they create their products; none of this is new. Well, Victoria's Secret thought the public knew that, so when it released its campaign for its Body collection, we are sure they thought nothing of it.
But as this "woman power" ad blitz continues, VS is getting backlash for its "Perfect Body" campaign.
See the ad below.
When one looks at the ad, the quotation marks indicate that VS is pointing to its Body collection. The brand is saying that your body is perfect in their Body collection.
At least, that's the meaning we derived from it. Then again, we don't search for things to be insulted about.
Dove and JD Williams (which is some other clothier, apparently) issued counter campaigns saying how this is damaging to younger women who may have seen this ad.
JD Williams countered with its "Perfectly Imperfect" campaign, where women of all types can share their thoughts and pictures.
We get the concept. Can every girl fit perfectly into Victoria's Secret clothing? No. But because they can't, should they consider themselves "imperfect"?
The messaging is off. Just because one brand deems a certain look perfect, calling any other perspective imperfect is not only insulting to other women, but very unimaginative. There are, we think, many different versions of perfect. And Victoria's Secret's Body Collection is their interpretation.
There is no reason to trounce one perspective. True beauty can be defined in different ways. Brands should use their creative muscle to pioneer their own, rather than jumping to alarm when a brand like VS announces their definition.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.