Thursday, June 01, 2006

I know the idea behind this is to be viral as hell so by blogging about it I'm part of the problem (if you consider viral marketing a problem.) But there's a European company now taking an, um, innovative approach to their new catalog that deserves some comment. It's called Shai Wear and I read about it on the American Apparel blog. (Yes, they have a blog. I was there because I keep getting deluged with requests to write about their soon-to-launch Internet radio station, which they're treating as if were their own invention and the only Internet radio station out there. Ahem: WOXY.)

To counter charges that their advertising is essentially pornography, American Apparel refer readers here. Shai, which specializes in "human packing," has a new line called "Sex Packing" and they're rolling it out with an interactive catalog involving pornographic clips that allow users to freeze the action and look at catalog descriptions of the items being worn (or, in some cases, torn off.) Here's a PG-13 screenshot:

Curious about how much that top costs? Just roll over it. Or, let the action keep going. It's up to you.

And nobody needs to feel left out. Users have the option of watching clips labled "Men Men," "Women Men," and "Women Women." They're each artfully shot, cast with attractive and enthusiastic actors, and quite explcit. They also run about three minutes long and feature choppy editing, which has the final effect of making them more functional as advertising than pornography, whatever the quantity of bodily fluids on display.

Is this the future of advertising? It's sure to get them plenty of chatter. There's even a feature for bloggers to embed the clip in their sites, which I won't do, although it would surely increase my traffic into at least the double digits.

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