Edgy underwear brand Agent Provocateur has always pushed the boundaries when it comes to their advertising. The attitude of the brand is that women should unabashedly have the confidence to give in to their deepest desires, and their range of risqué lingerie reflects this as it encourages indulgence into passions and intimacy.
The company often use below the line techniques to attract attention to their message, for example by having models parade outside London Fashion Week with signs reading “More S&M, Less M&S” and using various shock advertising techniques. For example a risqué outdoor campaign on the number 23 bus caused London Transport to revaluate the types of advertising which are permitted on buses after a number of minor traffic incidents. Viral campaigns are also a large part of Agent Provocateur’s marketing of a specific story represented through a series of videos following character’s who entered a country mansion.
The undoubtedly sexy videos with slow lingering shots of various parts of the female anatomy have been reinforced by Facebook and Flickr where users have been successfully engaged with their brand as Facebook profile’s were set up for the character’s featured in their videos and Flickr users were invited to design a cover for erotic novels AP produced staring these characters.
Vogue has described their web site as “the sexiest web site in the world” and the same can easily be said for their banned cinema advertisement featuring Kylie Minogue, which was named the top celebrity viral ad of in 2009 and generated 350 million youtube hits, and their advert reminding men exactly why they shouldn’t forget Valentine’s Day in 2009 staring Rosie Huntington Whiteley.
Something I particularly like about AP is that their advertising shows women as being both attractive and liberated without being submissive. Their branding is similarly empowering to females and this message is something which I believe drives sales for this luxury brand. They are responsible for a change in attitude towards the underwear women choose. Long gone are the days when women would be shy about their choice of undies and instead AP have turned them into a form of expression. By turning underwear into an experience it lets women know that it’s okay to be sexual or risqué in a way it wasn’t before however at the same time behaving like this isn’t what they ought to be.