Mayday Post

this may or may not be a design blog

Old Navy’s SuperModelquins Kind of Freak Me Out

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I gave it a shot. I really tried. But I’d be lying if I said that Old Navy’s new ad campaign featuring plastic mannequins wasn’t creepy. The big smiles, back-stories and facebook profiles just aren’t connecting with me. The mega-retailer hired Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the same firm responsible for Burger King’s (also creepy) plastic king mascot, to implement a “multipronged marketing effort.”

I think I’ve figured out why I find them so unnerving. In past years, mannequins have gone in a more faceless direction. Sellers emphasize the product (and not the piece of plastic that’s wearing it). In a way, we expect mannequins to be monochrome and relatively unobtrusive. Some stores, like the Gap, have done away with the face completely.

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And oddly, we’re ok with that. It’s when they don’t blend in that we notice. If you’ve ever walked by a really old store and caught a glimpse of an eerily realistic mannequin, you know what I’m talking about.

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I get it, they’re creating characters and trying to connect with the core customers (which, interestingly, they have lost over the past few years. Blame it on slutty bathing suits and micro-mini shorts!). The company is trying to revert back to the old, family oriented Old Navy. That’s fine. But are SuperModelquins and Goga pants (yoga pants on the go!) the answers?

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Written by beckyquintal

March 16, 2009 at 7:49 pm

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