WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? BRUT FORCE

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OK boys, put your hankies away, stock up on beer and girlie magazines, and say buh-bye to your sensitvity training. The testosterone-laden brute is back. Ammirati Puris Lintas/New York's new campaign for Brut (the old "by Faberge" is conspicuously absent) wants men to embrace their inner pig . . . um, guy. The tagline, "Inside every man is a guy," sums up the idea behind the campaign. Despite the occasionally crude laddishness of the work, the ads are funny enough -- and secure enough in the politically incorrect sensibilities they celebrate -- to make even borderline feminists crack a smile. (Of course, the real hardcore fems probably won't see the one that reads, "You stay dry. She gets wet," as it will smartly run in Maxim and Playboy only.)Oddly enough, it's feminism that inspires this new guyness, not as a male backlash, but as an acknowledgement of women's equality. According to creative directors Roger Bentley and Rob Feakins, it's because both sexes are more at ease in their own skins. Says Feakins, "Kids today are used to sharing dorm floors and bathrooms. They are more comfortable with stronger women. These guys can accept the fact that the girl down the hall can kick [a guy's] ass."And she will, too, if said guys are clueless enough to follow the example of one ad, which reads, "Actually, yes. That outfit does make you look fat."The campaign, aimed at blue-collar males 18-34, consists of print and wild postings (a Christopher Guest-directed TV spot is in the making). But regardless of age, Bentley believes the ads will strike a chord with all men. "It doesn't matter who you're talking to -- the inner guy is in every man; lawyers, doctors, accountants," he says.Now that the caveman is back out of the closet, will women think he reeks? Brut's got him covered.

ECDS: Rob Feakins & Roger Bentley GCDS: Pat Hanlon & Lance Paull ADS: Andrew

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