Bad Adz #5 — Notes from the frontlines of cultural co-optation, courtesy of advertising's rogue inside-man, perpetual outsider King Adz.

A cultural high-tide mark has been set. Just like in 1969 when Hunter S. Thompson witnessed the death of the American Dream when the police attacked the students protesting against Vietnam in Chicago, I, too, have just experienced that moment. In the name of research I walked on the wild side and watched the ‘adult’ version of an ad for Pepe Jeans starring uber-model Cara Delevingne with support from a couple of dishy males, would you believe. What I saw was the monumental fusion of the perfume ad with the pointless internet video to produce the most heinous bastard off-spring ever. Banality squared with pretentiousness with a liberal dose of pointlessness mixed in for good measure.

The whole nightmare was filmed in the fountains in front of Somerset house – how street can you get? I know a lot of kids are going to be identifying with that location, that is after they’ve fought their way through the 30-something media scum hogging the café tables and free WiFi for their pointless ‘meetings’. The visual atrocity kicks off with the cast frolicking under the title ‘Made for Mischief’. Cara then kisses a statue. The male fodder jog together through fountains in unison. They all get wet. She puts some sunglasses on the statue (revolutionary), then leans back on one of the blokes as they ride a horse – also a statue – and then does this totally weird rodeo gesture. I’m confused already. The cultural nuances are being laid thick and fast and I just couldn’t keep up decoding them. I had to rewind. One of the chaps then slaps a moody 5-panel cap on the aforementioned statue and the place goes wild. My god this is amazing – such creative use of a statue; such great casting of a globally famous model; a total blast and such a great ROI (return on investment). Then it all cranks up a notch as she shows a bit of side-boob with tat (I did say this was the adult version), messes with the boys in the water – pretending to phone someone up on her fake Vans – and then blows the camera a kiss.

It gets dark, and I don’t mean in the narrative sense. Just when I thought I’d seen it all, it happens: they throw in a skateboard. Why-oh-why the fuck did you have to do that? Cara tries to skate but ends up doing some kind of demented river-dance instead, and almost gets away with it because she is ‘well-fit’. I said almost. At least they didn’t make her do a windmill. The three of them end up in the water and get naked and stuff and then it’s on, I’m like, whoa – adult version, indeed. It’s amazing the level of sex you can get away with in an ad for crap jeans that no one has ever given a toss about as they never bothered to embed themselves in any kind of youth or sub-culture. Okay, so one of the claims I just made above is false, but you’ll just have to watch the ad to find out which one. I’m a cultural sadist. Watching this kind of absolute dross gets to you in the end. I bet it cost way more than £50 to make, which is £50 too much.