Darrow Miller and Friends

The Lingerie Ad Jesus Might Have Made

What would a lingerie ad look like if Jesus made it? Is there a Christian way to advertise lingerie?

Sounds crazy, but please stay with me.

TV commercials are rarely the stuff of serious reflection. Exceptions really stand out.

A few years ago Coca-Cola aired a charming commercial in Argentina with a strongly pro-life message. It was an ad that spoke prophetically to the culture, “Babies and children are precious gifts to a family. They bring much joy; they are worthy of life.” Have a look at the video below.

Could it be that God would call a Christ lover to produce ads that speak truth in the marketplace, without abandoning the legitimate goal of advancing the bottom line? Wouldn’t that be amazing!

Actually, maybe that’s already happening. The Coca-Cola ad is one example. Eric Metaxas, writing at BreakPoint, recently highlighted another: the My Beautiful Woman campaign produced by the Thai affiliate of Wacoal, an international women’s clothing company.

Wacoal incorporates this wish in each stitch of sewing. “Our mission at Wacoal is to contribute to society by helping women everywhere become more beautiful.”

Being beautiful is important for women. Thai’s perception of women’s beauty is skinny, fair skin and a perfect face. And the effort of being beautiful among Thai women had become a serious social problem.

We believe that a beautiful woman is not defined by physical attributes, but real beauty is from the soul inside.

H’mm. Sounds like someone has been reading from Peter’s first epistle!

From an entry at an Asian “Festival of Creativity,”

Wacoal is the brand which stands for every step of womanhood. We are here for all women from pre-teen … teenage, growing up or becoming a mother. So, Wacoal wants to change the perception of women’s beauty.

God invented feminine beauty. Let’s get that straight at the outset. But that loveliness is crassly exploited by ad makers, over and over, thousands of times every day in one or another medium to hawk products from apples to zippers. As if everything relates directly to sex. Everything does not.

Lingerie is a lot closer than many products. But even lingerie can be advertised in a way that upholds the dignity of humans, people made in the image of God.

Wacoal sells lingerie, yet publicly declares that “real beauty is from the soul inside.” Their My Beautiful Woman campaign produced the video below (the first of three). It tells the remarkable account (based on a true story) of a hero who is prepared to sacrifice herself for her baby.

Not your usual lingerie campaign, eh? There’s a power here much weightier than the typical air-brushed, glamour-girl images that populate lingerie ads and reduce the feminine to a single dimension with the message, You can make men notice you and want you. Too many women take the bait without ever asking, Yes, I can get the attention of a man, and in the process be reduced to an object. Is that what I want?

Coca Cola ad not lingerieWhat’s the purpose of advertising? To sell a product or service, naturally. That’s perfectly legitimate. But ad makers have the opportunity to transcend the strictly commercial. This campaign proves that you can promote truth, goodness and beauty in your advertising … without sacrificing excellence!

Every message has an agenda, every text a subtext. Darrow has written about the influence of what he calls the “balladeers.” Some of these artists are producing commercials. Kudos to whoever created the My Beautiful Woman videos.

This ad campaign speaks prophetically to the culture in a powerful way. Many people who are disinclined to enter a sanctuary, open a Bible, or listen to Christian radio will be caught off guard by this ad. And while theyre distracted, some truth will slip in. Who knows where that might lead? “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom,” (Psalm 51:6 NASB).

Go here to watch all three videos, three stories of sacrificial love for children, stories about women of dignity and courage, of the value of every human in the sight of Jesus Christ.

And you don’t have to compromise on production values or results. In one week, the campaign had 5 million hits at YouTube and Facebook, received thousands of positive conversations worldwide, and was reposted by many celebrities and online media publications. As of the most recent report, #mybeautifulwoman had 11.3 million hits, and people are still sharing the campaign.

Madison Avenue, are you paying attention?

  • Gary Brumbelow

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Gary is the Disciple Nations Alliance editorial manager. He manages Darrow Miller and Friends and serves as editor and co-writer on various book projects. For eight years Gary served as a cross-cultural church planting missionary among First Nations people of Canada. His career also includes 14 years as executive director of InterAct Ministries, an Oregon-based church-planting organization in Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Gary is a graduate of Grace University, earned an MA from Wheaton College and a Graduate Studies Diploma from Western Seminary. He lives in a suburb of Portland, Oregon with his wife, Valerie. They have two married sons and ten grandchildren. In addition to his work with the DNA, Gary serves as the pastor of Troutdale Community Church.
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