What's the Big Idea?

By Published on .

Joining the ranks of such celebrity endorsers as Britney Spears for Tommy Hilfiger, Foxy Brown for Calvin Klein and Lauryn Hill for Levi's, Polish singing sensation Joanna Zychowicz is the new face and body of Diesel. Yes, the "Dirty Country Girl" herself is the center of a campaign that spans, print, TV, the Web (www.joannafanclub.com) and a tabloid journal. If you have no idea who Joanna Z. is, don't panic -- your cool factor hasn't dropped off the charts. Despite appearing in The New York Post's Page Six column, presenting an award at Sanremo, Italy's most important music festival, and showing up at every hot party in town, Joanna doesn't really exist. That is to say, she's portrayed by a bevy of blonde models, which allows the Polish pop diva to be in all the cool places at once. Bored by all the celeb fashion hypesters, Diesel decided to create its own spokesceleb, and thus was born 22-year-old, blonde, blue-eyed Polish country star Joanna. To give their imaginary image-maker some credibility, the folks at Diesel and EMI music created a hit dance single for her, entitled "Dirty Country Girl." Diesel's advertising manager Stefano Caputo explains the title of the song fits in with Diesel's "Luxury of Dirt" campaign for their "dirty denim" line.

The scandal sheet, It's Real, is very amusing. It chronicles Joanna's fall from grace with glaring headlines and absurd innuendo, but it scores big marketing points too, doubling as the company's spring/summer clothing catalog.

Despite the fact that, DNA-wise, Joanna is as authentic as Anna Nicole Smith's bustline, she has become real, believes Caputo. "I don't think that most people know that she's not real," he says. "When you create a character, it exists. The artistic name exists and now Joanna Zychowicz is someone."

Agency: Diesel In-house & Paradiset DDB, Sweden CD: Joakim Jonason AD: Tove Langseth CW: Bjorn Rietz (print) Director/Director of Photography: Johan Camitz Production Companies: Modfilm & Co. and Trigger Happy Productions

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