I am not a music purist or an art hardliner by any stretch of the imagination. I am daily amazed at the fact that the art world thinks advertising is a four letter word and that any ounce of success is met with buckets of scorn. I do have to say though that in all the years that I have kept up with the art business and the advertising business I have rarely if ever seen a mix of art and commerce so off putting and poorly fitting as Vera Wang’s latest blitz for her new clothing line at Kohls.

As you can see and hear in the video below the concept is three women (an asain, a redhead & a blond) are driving across the American west (ala a trip with Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo) with their hair down and feet swaying in the breeze to the tune of…………. America’s “Horse With No Name”. Whether deservingly or not the song has a inherited theme that is about as contrary to the message of the video as is really possible.

It’s as if the writer of the concept was so determined to get the idea of “American” across in the commercial he/she picked the song cause it was written by a band called America and matched his/her use of the barren desert. I can only assume the person went to U2 and tried to get the rights to the song “In God’s Country” and was rightfully told to take a hike and this was their second choice?

To me this is as tasteless as the Sony PSP ad promoting the new “white” player by showing a Aguileraesque white girl death gripping a black girl. Also as mindless as the rightfully humorous perfume ad in Eddie Murphy’s film Boomerang

Vera waits for years to release her budget conscious clothing line to have it played this way? You know someone in that boardroom thought this was dumb but I guess had the sense to keep his/her job and say nothing.

Christopher Hudgens
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