Marketing men’s fashion can be a tricky thing, since, as on average, guys don’t spend that much time worrying about their outfits. One exception, though, is when they’re trying to impress girls. You can sell a man a jacket as long as you first sell him on the image that it’ll make him more attractive to women.
Of course, even if it is the underlying message, most companies are more subtle than to come right out and claim you’ll look so cool in their clothes that women will take their pants off for you.
Japanese online retailer Men’s Fashion Plus is not most companies.
So what do you think of the denim jacket this model is wearing?
Pretty nice, right? Sure, at 5,800 yen (US$56), it’s not the cheapest article of clothing around, but it’s still a reasonable price for something like this in Japan. It’s a timeless design, and you could pair it with a T-shirt and sneakers, or even dress it up with a button-up shirt and some khakis.
But the more important question is, will girls start to get naked if you buy it? Of course they will! Just look at the other photos Men’s Fashion Plus has for this product.
We don’t know what to call that other than a convincing advertisement. Except for, well, a baffling advertisement.
Japanese Internet commenters shared our confusion.
“Just…what’s going on here?”
“I’ve seriously got some questions I’d like answered.”
“I’m not sure about this combination.”
While it may look like the woman has stripped down to her panties, she is in fact wearing what in Japan are known as “bloomers,” the traditional bottoms to girls’ P.E. uniforms. That in no way changes the fact that bloomers show a ton of skin, which is one reason why they’re a major fetish in Japan (as well as why schools have been increasingly moving towards more modest uniforms with shorts or pants for their female students to wear during gym class).
Making the ad all the more confusing is the lack of any explanation of what’s going on in this scene or who the woman is. A bit of Internet digging turned up her identity though. The scantily clad spokes model is Maari Watanabe, a member of the horror/heavy metal idol group Alice Juban.
As part of a cross promotional deal with Men’s Fashion Plus, Watanabe has agreed to make appearances in the site’s advertising photos. At the time the curios denim jacket shots were taken, Watanabe was in the middle of a photo shoot for an upcoming collection of racy gurabia-style photos.
We’re not sure exactly what inspired Men’s Fashion Plus to insert a generous helping of Watanabe’s upper thighs into the photos for this particular jacket. Was the logic that if jeans are “sporty” and bloomers are for playing sports, than the two would naturally go well together?
Or, is this just a simple case of meeting your customers’ needs? Many online shoppers are people who don’t have time to go out to brick and mortar stores. However, for young men, any time they’re on the Internet is time they could be using to look at half-naked models. Perhaps this is just a sign of the fast-paced, multi-tasking times we live in. In our crazy workaday world, who really has the time to shop for jackets and ogle girls without somehow combining the two activities?
It’s a brave new world we live in, people.