Glassons unveils ‘bold’ campaign in wake of mannequin fiasco—UPDATED

October 17: Glassons has caved in to public pressure and apologised to customers for featuring display mannequins that some Kiwis have described as an unattainable depiction of women.

The mannequins, which featured visible ribs, sparked a nationwide debate on whether this was an appropriate portrayal of the female form, with plenty of action in its Facebook page and a Change.org campaign set up on the issue. World’s Denise L’Strange-Corbet told the complainers to get a life, as did her daughter, because clothes look better on skinny people. And Hallenstein Glasson chief executive Graeme Popplewell originally justified the decision on the basis that the mannequins were within the healthy range of the Body Mass Index. But it has now agreed its mannequins were unacceptable and has ordered their removal from display in all stores.

“While these mannequins are not new to the business, we have taken on-board the feedback of New Zealand women in its entirety, and we unreservedly apologise for any upset we may have caused those who viewed the store displays,” says Popplewell. “The removal of the offending mannequins is effective immediately and once again we wish to reiterate how truly sorry we are to the women of New Zealand.” 

Popplewell says Glassons would like to reassure the New Zealand public that in future a more rigorous selection process will be adhered to for its point of sale display mannequins. 

Original story: October 15: Earlier this week, Glassons provoked the ire of its Facebook fans, Twitter followers and an eating disorders expert for featuring a mannequin that was designed to have its ribs showing. Auckland-based psychotherapist Anna Drijver, who specialises in a range of eating disorders, told the Herald that the use of the mannequin was “absurd” and added that this approach to window promotions would have a “negative effect” on both young boys and girls.

In response to the scandal, Hallenstein Glasson chief executive Graeme Popplewell took the unexpected step of telling Fairfax that the offending mannequin fell within the healthy BMI range. However, this argument didn’t seem too persuasive, as the mannequins were removed from stores shortly thereafter.    

And now, despite this controversy still simmering on social media networks, Glassons has unveiled a new campaign that will undoubtedly also raise a few eyebrows for featuring the controversial act of bull-riding. 

In a new 60-second spot conceptualised by recently appointed creative agency Joy, a female protagonist is depicted riding a bull in slow motion. Stylistically, the spot, which was shot by the Sweet Shop, seems to borrow from the surrealist elements of high fashion photography, and this slightly off-beat approach is then consolidated by the ‘Made of here’ tagline, which seems completely incongruent with the action that previously happened on-screen.   

The campaign and has also been extended onto a series of striking outdoor billboards, print ads and retail posters that feature models standing in a series of macabre landscapes that either incorporate fire, bulls or a combination of both in the creative.      

A release from Joy explains the creative executions by saying: “The attitude of Glassons – ‘Made Of Here’ – has been largely shaped by the attitude of Australia and New Zealand. It is bold. It is fearless. And it is comfortable taking on the world and punching well above its weight.”

And while the advertising is slightly bizarre, it is also far more interesting and attention-catching than the usual product-focused approach incorporated in promotional material in the retail space.  

The campaign launch coincided with the opening of the new Glassons Bondi store on Saturday, and it was carried across into the local market shortly afterward. 


CEO: Graeme Popplewell
Project Leader: Anna Murray 
Behind the Scenes Videographer: Lula Cucchiara

Executive Creative Director: Christy Peacock,
Creative Director/Copywriter: Dean Hamilton
Head Of Art/Art Director: Michael Dole
Typographer: Lindsei Barros
Producer: Corinne Porter
Producer: Jeff Edwards
Strategy: Andrew Wynne/Graeme Wills
Account Lead: Simon Ludowyke
Senior Account Executive: Alexandra Eliya

Film Production
The Sweet Shop
Director: Noah Marshall
Managing Director: Wilf Sweetland
Executive Producer: Edward Pontifex
Producer: Tony Whyman
Director of Photography: Stefan Duscio
Style Director: Elle Packham
Hair and make-up: Andrea Black
Model / Bull Rider: Laura Evans, IMG

The Butchery
Editor: Tim Mauger

VFX and grade
Method Studios, Sydney
Colourist: Andy Clarkson
VFX Operator: Julian Ford
Sound design: Simon Lister
Musician: Guy Brown

Brand Photography
The Pool Collective
Photographer: Simon Harsent
Managing Director: Cameron Gray
Producer: Petrea Lambert
Style Director: Elle Packham
Hair and make-up: Andrea Black

Retouching: Cream Studios

Retail Photography
The Kitchen Creative
Photographer: Simon Lekias
Managing Director / Producer: Shannon Stoddart
Style Director: Elle Packham
Hair and make-up: Andrea Black

Retouching: Capture Lab

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