Totally Baffled By Victoria's Secret Branding Strategy

Angels of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2010 from Justin Wu on Vimeo.

Dear Victoria’s Secret. Is this the Pink brand or Victoria’s Secret?

Is it safe to say that Pink is ‘girls or young women’ and Victoria’s Secret is ‘women under 30, but not if you judge by above’? How does this ‘our women are a gaggle of airheads’ moment jibe with the Michael Bay’s ‘sexy women cut your balls off’ commercial that closes out this marketing review?

I am soooooo confused, and disagree that girls just want to have fun these days; or that they are winged vultures, flying out of the heavens to hogtie American men.

Even the divine Lara Stone and Carine Roitfeld duo couldn’t pull off that look effectively, with porn master Terry Richardson behind the lens.

Lara Stone | Terry Richardson | ‘Bondage’ | Vogue Hommes International S/S 2009

Lara’s awkward images remind us that she’s s sexy alpha woman, not an giggling pouf ball. My comments aren’t meant to de-emphasize the importance of having a sense of humor in bed. But the VS women don’t have sex anymore. Men aren’t even on their radar, so let’s not get sidetracked.

We’re talking the Millennials, who comprise the audience for two Victoria’s Secret brands. The brands run together often like jello because VS refuses to treat women as intelligent, grownup creatures.  The give the concept a test drive every couple years, but then lose their will.

The original Victoria’s Secret didn’t suffer from this age imbalance at all. A wide age range of women embraced the marketing message.

Mind you, many of the Angels are great on their own, as high-caliber females. 

American Sobriety Test

Reality is that 37% of 18-29-year-old are unemployed or out of the workforce, the most in three decades, says Pew Research in its Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change.   Nine percent of America’s new college graduates can’t get a job. Why they would lust after a $2 million bombshell bra is beyond me, but I digress.

Let me introduce you to Alexa Chung, featured in last week’s New York Times Style section. It’s a sobering thought that Alexa Chung is launching her own PBS fashion version of Roadshow, called “Thrift America”.  

I totally agree that America’s young women aren’t walking around town crying in their beer.  Lula Magazine is a breath of fresh air.  Globally, we have produced the most well educated group of women ever, and the big questions is whether they will have the convictions to change the world.

Not if Victoria’s Secret has anything to say about it. 

Thankfully, the Internet is bring a more holistic vision of living the good life from Europe, especially places like Sweden and Denmark. The Millennials digest all these mindsets and values via social networking relationships, Tumblr blogs and a host of other international stimulii.

Valerie van der Graaf | Ellen Von Unwerth | Lula F/W 2010

Justin Wu may have shot the Pink|Victoria’s Secret airhead girls video, but the film that put him on the fashion map — which we posted at AOCIS Millennial. Yes, there’s smiles all around, but the substantative impressions of the models are very different. 

These young women are not stupid. In fact the entire film is inspiring and hopeful.

Boys & Girls of New York Fashion SS2011

Boys & Girls of New York Fashion Week SS2011 from Justin Wu on Vimeo.

 This Justin Wu imagery is also Millennial. See Justin’s website.

Lastly, in my moat of marketing confusion, we roll into Michael Bay’s Victoria’s Secret commercial.  The Modern Values killer girls are here. Just don’t try to f*ck them, because the Victoria’s Secret Angels might cut your balls off.

After all, these girls just wanna have fun.

As Gizmodo and Gawker agreed in December 2009:

So Michael Bay directed this Victoria’s Secret ad, thereby spoiling the singular fragment of the world untainted by his confused action-sexual outlook—a perspective comprised of such distilled adolescence that it shames even the lowest brow among us…well, hopefully.

Michael Bay’s Victoria’s Secret Christmas 2010 Commercial

Gawker had nothing to say about the CBS broadcast of the Victoria’s Secret Show on November 30, 2010. Re the bombshell buildup, Gawker wrote:

Forty Lashes: Model Lais Ribeiro looks positively tortured while getting gussied up for the Victoria’s Secret fashion show … 

Those Breasts Are Worth Less Than GDP of Tuvalu: Adriana Lima models Victoria’s Secret’s $2 Million Fantasy Bombsell Fantasy Bra,” an undergarment containing 60 carats of white diamonds and 82 carats of topaz and sapphire. This is Vitoria’s Secret being recession-friendly; 2008’s Fantasy Bra was worth $5 million.

Gizmodo didn’t cover the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show either this week.  As for us, we wrote: 2010 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show | Yawn and Ridicule.