Walk around the streets of many of New Zealand’s urban centres and you’re more than likely to see people on the streets, in stores and sometimes even on sports fields clad entirely in the latest activewear from the likes of Puma, Adidas or Nike. Viewed from a distance, it would be easy to mistake these individuals as veritable fitness freaks, doing the hard yards to get abs on abs. However, upon closer inspection, it quickly becomes apparent that activewear serves broader purposes than just exercising. In fact, as illustrated in a recent satirical video by content creators the Van Vuuren Bros, activewear is often used for purposes quite contrary to getting fitter.
Canadian agency John St has developed a reputation for skewering the latest marketing trends with its parody videos. So far it’s taken aim at click farming, real-time marketing, fear-inducing experiential and the internet’s undying love of cats. And now it’s released another gem showing how it can co-opt the idea of female empowerment that brands like Dove and Always have tapped into and prey on female insecurities to help sell more stuff.
While some critics saw the Wolf of Wall Street as an indictment on the exorbitant habits of stockbrokers, this isn’t necessarily the only interpretation that could be used to understand Scorsese’s directorial decisions. There’s also a growing school of thought suggesting that the financial theme was actually a metaphor for the modern trend of websites becoming insanely popular despite offering nothing in terms of completely original content.
Toronto-based John St. has moved on from case studies and catvertising to the treacherous world of prankvertising.