KARASTAN PULLS OUT THE RUG ON HOME FURNISHINGS IMAGE

Published on .

I can open your eyes, take you wonder by wonder. Over sideways and under on a magic carpet ride. A whole new world. A new fantastic point of view. No one to tell us no, or where to go, or to say we're only dreaming.

from "A Whole New World"

How to describe the new Karastan spots? Hmmm. That's a tough one. Well, let's put it this way:

You know that cereal commercial with the lady in a tight black dress in front of the mirror checking herself out? You've seen it; she gapes at her image, with satisfaction and astonishment, as if this perfect body were brand new, thanks to the low-fat goodness of Special K-presumably because before, when she hedonistically breakfasted on Raisin Bran, she was a complete slob with rolls of fat oozing out of her waistband like a lacerated tube of caulk.

Well, this Karastan commercial, from McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., is kind of like that.

Except it's in ultralanguid superslow motion. And there's no all-American beauty; more like an all-Kashmir beauty. And the cereal lady has clothing and furniture, whereas the exotic Karastan babe is in a gigantic house with empty closets and hardly a stick of furniture, looking like she has been abandoned in the bare lap of luxury by someone who left behind only her and his complete collection of Karastan rugs. But they are not on the floor; instead, dozens of them hang in the living room from jute ropes strung along the ceiling.

You know, the way so many people do.

And this woman isn't in a tight black anything. She's wearing no clothes at all. And she's not just preening; she's sashaying around the house, increasingly consumed by either a) erotic rapture, or b) a bit of that darned occasional irregularity. But something's got her in a mood.

Oh, and she doesn't have her hands on her hips, twisting to and fro to check out every mirrored angle. She's cupping her naked breasts in her hands, in a way that would probably be extremely erotic but for the rug she's wearing as a skirt.

Yes, that's probably the most notable thing. She's wearing the floor coverings.

Talk about your whole new world. "You'll love the way it wears," says the on-screen lettering, and, the thing of it is, they don't seem to be kidding. It's all part of a strategy to make Karastan products transcend the commodity nature of the household furnishings category to become a full-fledged fashion item. To be provocative, mysterious, alluring.

Apparel and fragrances trade on steamy, inscrutable, yet unambiguously sexual imagery. So why not sexy rug commercials? Which is why this woman is working herself into a pre-orgasmic frenzy stroking a handsome woolen reproduction of a genuine Oriental carpet. Except this Karastan thing is not a rug commercial. It's an episode of "Ricki Lake," and stay tuned tomorrow for the Kama Sutra on AstroTurf.

Whether this sultry and exotic beauty is parading in a modest throw rug, an 8-by-12 or a luxurious full-length Berber, it's more weird than provocative. In addition to ridiculous.

As to whether viewers will suddenly associate Karastan with sensuality, style and a new, fantastic point of view-as opposed to, say, home wares perversion-it is too early to say. It's not too early, however, to object to more soft porn on TV. This we can do without. Although, we should probably be grateful this lady's not into carpet squares.

That mastic just never comes off.

Ad Age Bulletin Board on Prodigy, or by Prodigy E-Mail at EFPB35A.

In this article:
Most Popular