Old Navy ads have always been a little campy. Remember the ads with Carrie Donovan, the lady with the trademark large glasses and black clothing that designated everything “fabulous?” Or how about those cheesy performance fleece ads from the late nineties featuring that catchy song I’m just now getting out of my head?
And now Old Navy has done it again with their “Supermodelquin” ads. In each commercial, groups of mannequins outfitted in Old Navy’s latest spring apparel find themselves in silly situations. In one segment, a mannequin is proposing to his lady mannequin because she looks simply irresistible in her Old Navy “town gown.” As he’s putting the ring on her finger, her finger breaks off. So he offers his own finger to her. In another edition, a group of lady mannequins observe how cute their butts look in Old Navy jeans. In a third, a customer swipes a dress off one of the mannequins leaving her naked in front of everyone. I haven’t been in an Old Navy in a while, but I read that they’re bringing the mannequins into the stores too. There’s even talk about having the in-store mannequins talk…yikes!
I get it. Economic times are tough. Models are expensive, and using mannequins means not having to pay for model talent. So I guess I’ve got to give kudos to Old Navy and their ad agency (Crispin, Porter + Bogusky in Miami) for finding a creative way to save talent costs. But this is actually the kind of commercial I’ll turn the channel to avoid. I’ve got to say that like the Quaker Oats man, the mannequins creep me out. It’s no surprise that this series of ads is brought to us by the same agency that revived Burger King with the creepy, plastic-headed king that appears everywhere.
According to a rep for Old Navy’s parent company Gap, Inc., the campaign is intended to reach Old Navy’s target demographic of budget-conscious mothers ages 25-35. Hey, maybe I’m just not the target audience.