In today’s society there is a strong emphasis on prudent, well thought out, decision making. It is often against social norms to act on impulse. Society also affects the way one thinks, making each person self-conscious and self-aware of his surroundings. This helps him become more wary of his actions, disallowing (for the most part) uninhibited actions and reactions. However, Diesel, a clothing company, indulges the average day citizen to “Be stupid. According to Diesel’s manifesto, which can be accessed through YouTube, this campaign suggests the stupidity of being “smart,” and emphasizes the need to be “stupid” (“The Official Be Stupid Philosophy”). Through the use of vibrant colors and fonts and the provocative and chauvinistic nature of the ad, Diesel is truly able to convey its sense of stupidity. Diesel has many advertisements that are under the “Be Stupid” campaign. They all use the power of shock to capture the audience’s attention. What could be bolder than encouraging stupidity?
What the audience will notice first is the vibrant colors. The message is written in a neon yellow that easily captures attention. The border matches the message and it immediately grabs the audience’s attention. The blanket on which the girl is lying is multicolored and eye-popping. The vibrant colors will allow the reader to stop in the middle of the magazine to look at the ad for a moment. What’s more interesting is the message that is in bold in the left hand corner. It reads, “You’ll spend more time with your boss. This is written in all bold and all capitals. The physical appearance of the message is already attention-grabbing enough, but if that wasn’t enough, the message itself is crazy. It’s crazy in the sense that it goes against all of society’s conventions. Having any type of relationship with a coworker, let alone a boss, is usually frowned upon in most offices. A “wise” thinker would know not to venture into that area, but one who goes with what he is feeling, uninhibited, would not have a problem “spending more time” with a boss.
By making a controversial statement, Diesel is able to appeal to the audience, especially to the younger generation. However, this controversial statement promotes promiscuity and unintelligent responses to everyday situations. Not only is the tone of the quote provocative, but the photograph itself is also quite suggestive. It shows a topless woman lying in bed with a topless man. The woman is looking straight at the audience, with a grin shamelessly tacked onto her face. A blanket covers the man’s face, and it seems as if he is not even awake yet.
His arm also rests on top of the woman’s body. It is implied that the two have slept together. It is also implied that in this case, the man is the boss, while the woman is the one who is “[being] stupid. ” In the photograph, it seems as if the woman is in control of the situation, since she is awake with the smile on her face, looking directly at the camera. In fact, she is portrayed as the one taking advantage of the male, when it is usually the opposite in society. Though this may seem empowering, it holds women in a negative light.
Not only is the female not the boss, she is the one using the male in order to “be stupid. ” This is degrading to women, even though it may not initially seem like it. The advertisement seems to be saying that girls should “be stupid,” and that intelligence is unimportant. It promotes girls acting foolishly and doing irrational things like sleeping with a boss. Is this what Diesel wants the future of the younger female population to be? If so, it is quite chauvinistic and deprecating to the many advancements females have made throughout history.
This picture juxtaposed with the slogan encourages women to be licentious and to disregard ethics. The “Be Stupid” campaign has much potential in carrying a positive meaning. It encourages people to occasionally step out of their realms of comfort, and to be a little bit bold and daring every now and then. This can be a positive message because without taking risks, people will not be able to succeed. It is not always good to be uninhibited, however; there are certain limitations as to how impulsive one can be.
The issue is that Diesel’s campaign puts no boundaries as to how “stupid” one can and should be and just suggests people to act as savages. “Be Stupid” also suffers due to the poor word choice, along with the risque advertisements; it only appeals to the immature and undeveloped, and manipulates their malleable minds into believing that “spending more time with your boss” and being “stupid” is acceptable. Diesel should stop being “stupid” and be more conscious of the message they send.