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Last time zaiah and I went downtown to visit her girlfriend, we came upon this billboard, which I had to take a picture of.



I'm not entirely sure what the marketing angle of this advertising campaign is. It seems like they're comparing the decadence of their French champagne to the decadence of French women, maybe who have (at least here in the States) a reputation for casual hedonism. So if you drink their champagne you'll, I don't know, experience casual hedonism too, or shop how uninhibited you are, or something. I'm not quite sure.

But, see, here's the problem: In the US at least, the combination of alcohol and passive-looking women creates an unfortunate, date-rapey subtext. I don't think that subtext is intentional in this billboard--at least I hope it's not--but it's a bit hard to believe that whoever designed it was quite so tone-deaf.

Am I missing something here?

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Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
calistan
Apr. 17th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
St. Germain doesn't make champagne. St. Germain is a liqueur that was originally made from elder flowers. It first began production in Paris back in the late 1800s. St. Germain and Champagne with a twist of lemon is a classic French cocktail. A great deal of their advertising campaign is to remix some of the old fashioned ads they used to run decades ago in Paris.
freyaw
Apr. 18th, 2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
It's a tasty cocktail, which has rather less alcohol than the popular-around-here Left Bank... St Germain is tasty though :-P
rain_herself
Apr. 17th, 2012 11:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't get that message at all. She looks sorta languid but not passive to me. And it very much looks like "be dirty like us dirty French girls", not come take advantage of us drunk girls.
awfulhorrid
Apr. 17th, 2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's my own proclivities showing, but I'll have to agree with the above poster: she doesn't look so much passive to me as she does pondering. (No, I don't know if I'm pondering what she's pondering.) With the context of "speak French," I'm personally pondering something relating to tongues, but again, that may be my own proclivities!

At any rate, I'd like to see more of these advertisements ... strictly for comparison, of course.
apestyle
Apr. 18th, 2012 12:01 am (UTC)
It's possible that you're overthinking it.
anais_pf
Apr. 18th, 2012 12:10 am (UTC)
She doesn't look passive to me. Just sexy/slightly-slutty in an old-fashioned way. I think you're projecting subtext into it.
swirl_into_grey
Apr. 18th, 2012 02:18 am (UTC)
I feel like her leg positioning is also very "NO ACCESS," and it seems to me that she looks more pensive than passive, too. It seems to be going more for the renewed interest in burlesque to me, actually.
pickledginger
Apr. 18th, 2012 03:10 am (UTC)
I get the impression she's debating whether to get proactive.
likethewatch
Apr. 18th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
My impression of what the double entendre is supposed to suggest is [enthusiastically consented to on both parts] cunnilingus.
james_the_evil1
Apr. 19th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
It's very much a vintage-inspired ad. As others have said, I think you're reading in subtext. Sometimes it's very easy to get so much in to one mindset that you start seeing things everywhere. That, in turn, can lead to seeing "enemies" everywhere and alienating people who don't mean harm but might not see the bad connotations in what they do because you seeing it comes off as a strident attack. It's a fine line.

On the other hand, I'd argue that the subtext you're discussing, even if it were far more blatant (tho not to the extent of that awful recent vodka ad) would still only carry the "date rape" subtext to a relatively small portion of the population. Even tho there's a much greater awareness of the issue now, a relatively small portion actually pays much attention, which's sad.
meadb
Apr. 23rd, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
I agree she doesn't seem passive and it looks to be a cunnilingus joke. Failing that, it's telling me that if I drink enough French alcohol I, too, can lounge about elegantly and pantslessly whilst feeling quietly overcome by ennui.
chaizzilla
May. 9th, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
My first impression projected onto her what I'd be up to in that sitch; telling someone to learn to stroke the back of my thigh just right(yum yum) and so forth very well is hot and sweet and happy.

If I change my perception of her to passive, or take the demand to "learn" out of her voice into that of a narrator and/or "society", it loses the sexy and the clarity and goes bleh.

I dunno which one they intended, probably the latter.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )