Jeans brands love a manifesto. Diesel has a new one, which is a call to arms to, um… Be Stupid.
Summed up in the film above, the new manifesto basically sees ‘stupid’ pitted against ‘smart’, with smart in this context meaning stuffy, risk-averse, geeky, while ‘stupid’ means brave, daring, and creative. “To be stupid is to be brave, when you risk something, that’s stupid,” says the manifesto. “The stupid aren’t afraid to fail. Why? Because they’re stupid! We think that you are probably pretty stupid too.”
The manifesto includes reference to Renzo Rosso, the founder of Diesel, who built his manufacturing empire by initially selling jeans that looked secondhand. “Renzo Rosso is stupid,” says the Be Stupid manifesto. “Stupid is motoring around in your Ford transit and visiting shop owner after shop owner, trying to sell your brand new denim made to look worn. ‘It’s a sign of innovation. When you are already doing the things nobody even thinks about.’ That’s a very stupid quote, Mister Rosso. Respect.”
The campaign is backed up by a series of posters (a selection of which are shown here) shot by photographers Kristin Vicari, Melodie McDaniel and Chris Buck, each showing examples of people ‘acting stupid’. In addition to this, Diesel are trying to recruit ‘stupid people’ (though judging by the call for entries, which asks if you “are you doing something particuarly stupid right now…like starting a band, building a tree house or creating an art installation”, are in fact simply creative people) to be part of a forthcoming music video that will feature the new Diesel collection.
Created by Anomaly (who recently picked up the Sony account from Fallon), the campaign certainly takes a more bombastic approach than previous Diesel campaigns, which have been more noteworthy for their style than their taglines. But while it may be eyecatching, when we’re all fed a regular diet of genuine stupidity via the media and TV most days already, will the ‘Be Stupid’ tag just prove grating? Or is everyone in fact longing to out themselves as stupid to Diesel?
The full Be Stupid campaign can be viewed online here.