Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cheat together: My Test for a Contest















No. You're wrong. The image displayed on this post doens't mean that I'm converting my blog to a conventional advertisings container 'cause I renegaded my art purist philosophy. Actually this is one of my advertising visual creations submitted for the on line contest launched by Emporio Armani some months ago on the web for which I also created a video that I linked on this blog at the end of april. Even though I admit that I enjoed a lot to deal with the language and the mediatic code and rythm of the commercial (I've experimented something similar last year with my cryptic teasers promoting my novel "Endometria" on YouTube and Libero Video) exploiting the edenic and atavic charm of a protected harbour of the adriatic coast surveilled by a paradoxical as well as "biotech-like"oil platform raised on the sea horizon, I cannot say the same about my reaction to the proclamation of the winners of the two contest categories. Annalisa Nappi, who simply put "together" the two cylindrical parfums in a "ready-made" composition, could make even Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp or Piero Manzoni feel ashamed of their art . There isn't much more to say than the next time I will take care to suppress my imagination, so let's discover the winning director. Who's Joseph Cardo? Had he the credentials to join this contest open to every artists not linked to the Emporio Armani staff as the rules cleary stated? Could his video be defined "genial" or, at least "original" and faithful to the submission rules and therefore worthy to win the first prize and becoming the lucky director of the new "Get together" advertising campaign? Answer to the first question: Joseph Cardo is a very well known international fashion photographer who has already the neverending curriculum of a consumed professionist who made advertising campaigns, videoclip, calendars and portfolio for Vogue, Glamour, GQ, Traveller, fashion houses like Basile, Burani, Krizia, Cardin, Coveri, Balestra and has created the cover photograps of the last Vasco Rossi cd (if you don't know who's this pop-singer then you're lucky to not live in Italy). All in all he had the same credentials of the other 2799 artists to submit his creation 'cause as far as I know it seems that he hasn't sisters, brothers or cousins among the Emporio Armani staff (I suspect he didn't need them anyway). Thing changes when we consider the format requested by the contest rules. Why? The pdf of the video guidelines I downloaded from the contest website reported the following line: 4/3 lenght: 30 seconds maximum whatever the medium (video, flash, animation, etc.) - wmv, mov, avi, mp4, mpeg, mpg and 3gp. If you check out the Cardo's video you wil notice a strange anomaly: indeed the video format is 16/9. C'mon, what's the problem? It will be easy to convert it to 4/3! Sure, but many of the contest participants believed that the guidelines were inviolable and that if 4/3 means 4/3 it cannot means also 16/9! But maybe many of the participants don't know that usually in Italy rules are made to be slightly changed or, to use a more polite and modern word, to be "reformed" according to the needs of the people (sometime very few people). In any case, we have to recognize that the powerful, state-of-the-art imagery propelled through the 30 seconds of this commercial was so astounding that Giorgio Armani himself has been so amazed that he forgot completely the guidelines, the concept of the "Get together" parfums campaign, and maybe he forgot the contest itself. A boy with a very "boysh" and "urbanlike" beard of four days ( it's a fact that the urban traffic don't allow you to reach so easily the bathroom) wanders in a dark and cinematic "losangeleslike" street playing "hide-and-seek" with a black street lamp smelling the air pollution of the city (do you really think that a scent can defeat the smog of a city like that?). Then, in the other half of the split-screen suggested by the vertical line of the street lamp (a genial mention of "When Harry met Sally" and "The Rules of Attraction") a pale and "prearaphaelitelike" girl with the sensual expression of a "Milkorova" mannequin waves her head in a pre-orgasmic rush. The end is really superb in its unpredictability: after touching the girl's neck and trying to kiss her, the "boysh boy" comes back to play "hide-and-seek" with the same street lamp of the first seconds. Simple and direct, don't you think? A great lesson of pop semiology! If you happen to walk alone in a desert city street by night and you meet a girl (oh God, is she true? or is she Amy Winehouse just escaped from a party?), all you will be able to do is to rub your body against a street lamp instead to talk with that mermaid and invite her in your hotel room. That's the risk of smelling the not "so healthy" contemporary fragrance of an urban road so strangely desert. Therefore the last, most important question is: did Armani really need to create a web contest and wait for three months to engage Joseph Cardo in directing his new advertising campaign? Is there someone in his staff that could remember him that there are email, phone numbers and agents to call a professional fashion photographer like Cardo? But to tell the truth, now everyone knows that the real Advertising campaign was the Contest itself, so now the genial Giorgio can count on 2798 different commercials produced for a same product spreaded all over the web, all of them commissioned for free! That's the definitive proof of his succes: he's really the son of the Machiavelli's country! All my respects Mr. Giorgio and thanks for having get me together with your unpredictable fragrances.
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