Written by: Lau Sean Hui Lok

Who would have imagined that a campaign could be launched successfully without a plan? Max Siedentopf, a photographer who has been working with the luxury brand Gucci, recently subverted the definition of the ‘hottest’ model with his new project for Gucci Beauty following a sudden spark in his mind.

Gucci is one of the top luxury brands worldwide. Its main target audience lies in middle to high class aged between 20-50 (Isabella, 2018). With its costly products and fashion-forward designs, people who will take a glance at the brand are presumably groups that emphasize the importance of beauty and outlook. Meanwhile, the definition of the ‘hottest’ in society today refers to people having a perfect body shape and being sexually appealing. Max knew that it is difficult for the brand to  stand out from its competitors without a twist; in an interview, Siedentopf mentioned his ideas on  redefining the phrase ‘hot model’ (Burzynski, 2020). During a shooting session with multiple models, Max came to the sudden thought that he should not waste the opportunity. He therefore used a heat vision camera and took portraits of 23 models gauging and capturing their temperature (Burzynski, 2020), consequently finding out who is the ‘hottest’ and ‘coolest’ model out of them all. Eventually, his random action was honoured as one of the cosmetic advertisements for Gucci Beauty. Although Gucci is well-known for its abnormal way of advertising, it is still hard to believe that this was an album for cosmetics since the faces of the models wearing the makeup can hardly be seen.

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2020 was definitely a tough year for Gucci. The Covid-19 pandemic halted all tourists from travelling, resulting in a ‘great depression’ in the company’s revenue. However, who knew that this can be an opportunity instead of a crisis? It was the virus that made the photos so relatable to the public. Rather than promoting the goods directly or bringing attention to their new release, the brand opt for the profile strategy. The profile strategy brings the attention of the target audiences to the brand itself, building a better reputation and brand equity eventually. This strategy is closely linked to the brand’s identity, whereas having a strong brand image can be one of the communication strategies of a company (Studiowide, 2019). Gucci’s brand image in social ethics is well established due to its strong involvement in fighting rights for the minorities. Siedentopf complied with the brand’s objective by going against how the society generally stands by emphasizing on inner beauty while resonating with the chaotic reality. This in turn strengthens the global position of the brand in terms of both social advocacy and luxury market.

‘Beauty comes in many shapes, shades, sizes and perspectives and ultimately, you can be just as hot inside as outside.’ Perhaps this quote from Max would be the best way to sum up Gucci’s vision.

References

Burzynski I. (2018) Gucci Brand Report, Retrieved on https://issuu.com/isabellaburzynski/docs/gucci_brand_report_4

Dazed (2020) https://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/47902/1/new-photo-series-measures-hot-gucci-models-max-siednetopf-beauty-ideals