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Marketer: Grendene

Agency: W/Brasil, Sao Paulo

Brazilian imagery is skin deep as model's tattoos end in Ipanema plastic sandals

[Sao Paulo, Brazil] When Brazilian uber model Gisele Bundchen, who does an annual campaign for Grendene's Ipanema plastic sandals, confided to Sao Paulo agency W/Brasil that she wished her career allowed her to have more tattoos than just the tiny star on her wrist, an inspired concept was born.

In a TV and cinema spot, Gisele's nude body slowly becomes a canvas for the beauty of Brazil as delicate tattoos of toucans and butterflies and other flora and fauna spread along her curves to seductive music from the W/Brasil-produced CD Slow Motion Bossa Nova. The TV spot is a sped up 60 seconds, but the cinema commercial is 15 seconds longer, to let the tracing of the tattoos be slower and more undulating.

Six magazine ads breaking through January 2006 each feature Gisele in a different pose, body art and color scheme matching the color of the shoes in each ad. Billboards will follow. "There are six colors, six positions and six tattoo designs," said W/Brasil Creative Director Rui Branquinho.

The estimated $4 million campaign for plastic sandals that cost $5 to $10 a pair is a good example of the way Brazilian advertising reaches deeply into the country's popular culture. The campaign weaves together Gisele as a local icon, the Ipanema name, the flip-flops everyone wears, bossa nova music and the Brazilian imagery on the model's skin that Mr. Branquinho describes as "pleasing both to the eye and to the nation's heart." The campaign's tagline "Brasil a flor da pele" is a popular local idiom that has no real translation but is something like "Brazil in the flesh" or "skin deep." AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq98j

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