The New York Times just reported that Zappos' fall ad campaign, which will hit the pages of Lucky, In Style, Cosmo and Harper's Bazaar in August, features models performing tasks such as riding a scooter, jogging and hailing a cab ... in the nude.
Tim Vaccarino, group creative director at Mullen, Zappos' ad agency, told the Times, "Zappos has a quirky culture ... Doing something typical is not really them." And Michelle Thomas, Zappos' senior brand marketing manager, said that the very simple idea of using models in need of clothes to sell clothes was the point of the campaign, observing that when advertisers get too creative, sometimes the message gets lost.
The campaign features women of all sizes. In fact, the model atop the scooter, Tiffany Payne, is particularly petite, at just five feet tall. Vaccarino said he aimed to show "the shapes and curves of many, many people."
The piece also mentions that the print ads have an interactive component. Smartphone users can scan them to see videos featuring fictional narratives of the naked subjects, choose outfits for the models to wear, and of course, purchase items for themselves.
Thomas told the paper that some of the designers sold on Zappos deemed the campaign too racy and refused to participate. However, others, like, Lolë's Nathalie Binda, embraced the project as "gutsy."
The Times cites examples of other fashion brands that have capitalized on sex appeal in their advertising, such as Calvin Klein and Abercrombie. And we'd also note that this isn't the first time an online retailer has run such risqué images -- remember this Bluefly ad?
Tell us, what do you think of the Zappos campaign?