With the release of a breathtakingly tone deaf campaign last night, Vogue Brazil appears to have had its good judgment amputated.
In order to give visibility to Rio Paralympics, which kicks off in September, the fashion magazine used two soap opera stars — Cleo Pires and Paulo Vilhena — in its “We Are All Paralympians” campaign. Meant to raise awareness of the games, the photo went viral for all the wrong reasons: The problem, of course, is that the models aren’t Paralympians at all, but were made to look like amputees. For the photo shoot, Pires lost her right arm to Photoshop while Vilhena was given a prosthetic leg.
#SomosTodosParalímpicos: para atrair visibilidade aos Jogos Paralímpicos e ressaltar a relevância dos paratletas brasileiros no panorama do esporte nacional, @cleopires_oficial e Paulo Vilhena (@vilhenap) aceitaram o convite para serem embaixadores do Comitê Paralímpico Brasileiro e estrelam a campanha Somos Todos Paralímpicos. Concebido pelos atores com o apoio do @ocpboficial e dos atletas, com direção criativa de @ccarneiro, fotografia de @andrepassos e beleza de @carolalmeidaprada, o anúncio traz Cleo na pele de @bruninha_alexandre, paratleta do tênis de mesa, e Paulo, de @renatoleite10, da categoria vôlei sentado. Os ingressos estão à venda em ingressos.rio2016.com. Vogue mostra os bastidores do shooting com o quarteto no link da bio. #voguenasparalimpiadas
It didn’t take long after Vogue Brazil posted the image to Instagram last night for the internet to register its displeasure.
“I loved the initiative but why not call an athlete who will participate?” asked Twitter user @setebiz.
— Felipe Bizzunci (@setebiz) August 24, 2016
Pires, typing with two hands, responded to the outrage that the campaign was meant to be an homage to Bruna Alexandre, a table tennis champion and member of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee. Clayton Carneiro, art director for Vogue Brazil, explained that Pires came up with the idea that the actors be Photoshopped as amputees. The shock value of seeing someone so recognizable in a new light would have a greater impact, he said.
“We knew it would be a punch in the stomach,” she wrote on Vogue Brazil. “But we were there for a good cause. After all, almost no one bought tickets to see the Paralympic games.”
In spite of their good intentions, the photo raised the wrong kind of awareness. English digital content around Vogue Brazil has increased by 470 percent from yesterday to date, compared to earlier this week; and all the engagement around Vogue Brazil in English mentioning this amputee ad has been negative, according to Amobee Brand Intelligence analysis.
“It’s cringe-worthy,” said Angie Enger, director of engagement for agency Carrot Creative. “Vogue represents what’s in and good. They should have used the real athletes — rather than models – to show the diversity of beauty.”
Eunie Kwon, creative design director for agency Mirum, thinks that the campaign direction is odd choice, as well. “The root of the idea doesn’t support the meaning of and the spirit behind the Paralympics,” she said. “The integrity and the beauty of such an event gets lost through this campaign, as it becomes offensive by not showing the face of the athletes themselves.”
Others also agreed.
This is NOT cool: "Paralympic athletes replaced with able-bodied models in Vogue's promotional campaign": https://t.co/egXM4mvdIW
— level PF Agency (@level_PFAgency) August 24, 2016
— Marie L Belanger (@MarieBLibrarian) August 24, 2016
It was part of a promotional spread for Paralympics. They even had Paralympic athletes in studio as "inspiration," yet they chose models.
— Beth Elderkin (@BethElderkin) August 24, 2016
Ei Vogue, Cleo Pires? Ser deficiente só no photoshop é muito fácil né…FAIL. #Paralympics
— Luiza Augusto (@LuizaAugusto) August 24, 2016
Translation: “Hey Vogue, Cleo Pires? Being deficient only in Photoshop is very easy right…FAIL.”
Indie agency Known beats out incumbents to land AMC Networks’ media business
In essence, Known is helping AMC Networks become more of a direct-to-consumer client as the programmer expands into more streaming options on top of its linear foothold.
Inside the NFL’s youth-focused social strategy
As part of the NFL Content Creator Network, the league is engaging with fans in new, innovative ways via gaming or just through creative social media activations.
Publishers test personalizing newsletters with varying degrees of success
Publishers are testing personalizing newsletter content based on readers’ interests - but it doesn't always work.
SponsoredHow FAST channels are redefining primetime opportunities for advertisers
Sponsored by Vevo With the competition from content providers continuing to build, the traditional primetime TV slots are no longer guaranteeing the mass audiences they once did. Television viewership is evolving, and the primetime window of 8–11 p.m. is less broadly reflective of younger audiences’ content consumption habits. In 2022, attracting TV viewers is a […]
How agencies adapt as bots evolve
Social media bots may represent just a sliver of an app's total users, but it turns out they may be generating more content than we were previously aware. The challenge is separating the good ones from the bad.
Publishers feel the crunch of cookieless browsers like Apple’s Safari
Bid enrichment provides publishers the means of sprucing up their cookieless impressions to improve their value in advertisers’ eyes.