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Diesel pop-up sells limited edition “fakes” as part of SS18 campaign

Deisel pop up from Diesel
The “Deisel” pop-up from Diesel

Diesel is looking to reinforce its authentic roots with a “fake” pop-up store during New York Fashion Week. As part of its latest campaign celebrating imperfection, the brand opened “Deisel” in NYC’s Chinatown – a neighbourhood known for touting knockoffs – selling seemingly fake goods.

The stunt was eventually revealed on social media, as Diesel shared a video depicting footage of the store. Inside, the pop-up space was set up to look improvised and blend in with its Canal Street neighbors, while shop assistants tried to convince confused passersby that the goods were real.

Once the secret was out, Diesel fans began to form long queues outside the store, trying to get their hands on the limited edition goods, which were also available for purchase in Europe online.

Speaking to reporters, Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel and president of its parent company OTB Group, said the aim of the campaign is to play on the irony and sense of humor he believes the brand has always relied on, which has been lost over the past few years.

“Diesel is back,” he said. ”Diesel is modern. Diesel is a unique brand. Diesel is still alive with the real irony and with the real DNA that it used to have before.”

Andy Bird, chief creative officer at Diesel’s recently appointed agency Publicis, told Adweek: “I think a brand like Diesel has the balls and the right to talk like this. There aren’t many brands that would take a calculated risk like this, but because they kind of know that they already have the cachet with the past history of advertising, they’ve always been a bit more adventurous and it fits perfectly with their outlook.”

Moving forward, the brand believes social media and campaign stunts are becoming a major focus for engagement. According to Rosso, the next soon-to-be-released stunt will see an individual jump from atop St Marcus tower in Venice, Italy.

In our recent episode of TheCurrent Innovators podcast, Stefano Rosso, Diesel’s CEO of North America, talked in-depth about the brand’s approach to challenging conformity.

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Editor's pick film social media

Diesel deletes Instagram posts, celebrates imperfection with #GoWithTheFlaw campaign

Diesel's #GoWithTheFlaw campaign
Diesel’s #GoWithTheFlaw campaign

Diesel is staying true to its roots of non-conformity by encouraging fans to “Go with the Flaw” in its latest campaign for the autumn/winter 2017 season.

It kickstarted the initiative by deleting all of the content from its Instagram page, which boasts 1.2m followers, in a bid to show that we live in a world today focused too much focus on filtering towards perfection.

“Today conformity is the chase of perfection, look at your social channels: perfect holiday, perfect pictures, perfect life, fitting in with the status quo. It’s going with the flow,” the press release reads. “It’s time to go with the flaw. That’s right, we said FLAW. Not flow. Be unordinary because #flawless is forgettable. Roll with what you’ve got, even though it’s not ideal. Embrace what you can’t control. Find a little bravery to wear your flaws with pride, take a front seat and enjoy the ride.” Its social media refresh is designed to represent this “imperfect new beginning”.

The campaign is otherwise fronted by a film directed by François Rousselet – who in the past has worked with Snoop Dogg, Madonna and the Rolling Stones. It showcases a cast of models embracing the uncomfortable in their everyday lives with a sense of humour, set to a soundtrack of Edith Piaf’s “Non, je ne regrette rien”.

The campaign aligns with Diesel’s history of celebrating uniqueness since its conception. “I was 15 years old when I made my first pair of jeans by hand. Of course they weren’t perfect. But that made them special – and unique, like everything we have done across our history so far,” says Diesel founder Renzo Rosso. “I have always been more interested in imperfection because it stands out from the crowd.”

Print images, shot by London-based photographer Tom Sloan, further showcase models in imperfect scenarios, where the tagline “Go with the Flaw” is accompanied by relevant phrases such as “Fits better with compulsive shopping” and “Fits better with being reckless”, in a call-to-action reminiscent of the brand’s previous “Be Stupid” ads.

“Being unique is much more beautiful than being perfect,” says Diesel’s artistic director Nicola Formichetti. “Change the way you look at things so even the bad becomes positive, overcoming obstacles and fears.” Throughout his work as a stylist and now creative director, Formichetti has become known for challenging preconceived notions of beauty by casting models with out-of-the-ordinary features and personalities.

This is the brand’s first campaign under new creative agency, Publicis Italia.

Diesel's #GoWithTheFlaw campaign
Diesel’s #GoWithTheFlaw campaign
Diesel's #GoWithTheFlaw campaign
Diesel’s #GoWithTheFlaw campaign