Part of the fun of working in this industry is looking at all the ridiculously creative marketing campaigns used to sell lingerie.
Video in particular has become the lingerie marketer’s best friend; like the product itself, film exerts its power through suggestion and association to excite the viewer’s imagination. Talk about a match made in heaven. And, as Lane Bryant or Fortnight Lingerie learned this year, you don’t need access to the airwaves to get your message out.
We set out to pick the top 10 lingerie videos of 2010 but, like kids in a candy store, just couldn’t stop. So, at the risk of using up a month’s worth of bandwidth in a single day, here are 15 films to titillate, amuse and seduce you while you’re wrapping presents.
The videos below come from a wide variety of sources and range from big-budget TV commercials to DIY indie shorts, some seen by tens of millions around the world and some barely seen outside the filmmaker’s Facebook group.
We’ve listed them in no particular order, except to say that the first video below was our overall favorite. (The photo above is a contact sheet from that film).
Alas, there are hundreds more that were regrettably left off the list. Santa, if you’re listening, all we want for Christmas is more bandwidth.
Marloes Horst by Warwick Saint
Dutch model Marloes Horst was everywhere in 2010, most notably in some memorable lingerie campaigns for Princesse Tam Tam and other labels. This languid little film by U.S. celeb photographer Warwick Saint was our favorite video of the year. Marloes, decked out in luxurious Stella McCartney undies and a hand-made diamond and platinum necklace, allows the camera to worship her while Cat Power purrs seductively on the soundtrack. Very very sexy. You can see Part 2 of this collaboration here.
Lane Bryant – ‘Not What Mom Would Wear’
With 4 million views on YouTube alone, and unknown numbers around the world who saw this on the news, Lane Bryant’s “banned” TV ad for its new Cacique line was a true marketing phenomenon and made an unlikely media star of Ashley Graham. Kudos to all involved for taking a brave stand and weathering the storms that followed. This video didn’t change public stereotypes about plus-sized women overnight, but it ignited a lengthy and healthy debate and for that we owe them thanks.
Ann Summers – ‘Giving Wood Since 1972’
One of a series of riotously naughty videos this year from the boundary-pushing Ann Summers, purveyors of great lingerie and battery-powered accessories. We’d love to show you their latest production, Christmas is Coming, but it’s so NSFW we can’t even describe it. Have a look, and be prepared to gasp, snort and howl before you forward the link to all your friends.
Justin Anderson – Chore Damaris
Smart, sexy and a bit odd, Justin Anderson’s project for UK label Damaris was hugely popular thanks to its unlikely juxtaposition of housework with the world’s hottest underthings. Vacuuming will never be the same.
Agent Provocateur – ‘Betty Sue’
We lost track of how many videos comprised Agent Provocateur’s hugely ambitious Private Tapes, a series of grainy peep-show films to promote their new fall line. After seeing a few, they all started to look the same and blend together in our mind. AP forgot the first lesson of lingerie: less is more. Regardless, the concept was brilliant and we can’t wait to see what they do next. The video above, with Kirsty Hume playing the aggressive vixen Betty Sue, was our favorite from the Private Tapes series.
This no-budget gem is three minutes of pure joy from retro designer Alexandra Grecco, featuring model Celia Rowison-Hall twirling around the room. A great soundtrack from The Generationals helps. Our only complaint is that only a few of Grecco’s lingerie pieces are shown.
Oh La La Cheri
This entry from the Parisian label Oh La La Cheri is a straightforward commercial video that oozes elegant sensuality. The old-money setting and lingering camera make it work.
Fortnight Lingerie – ‘Super Sexy Abdominal Thrusts’
Toronto’s Fortnight Lingerie had the OTHER video hit of the year with their amusing, original multi-purpose Super Sexy CPR. This was the follow-up, which we prefer if only because of the very sweet payoff at the end. Both are worth seeing again. So is our article about the video.
Angela Ferraro – ‘Elle Tourmente’
Honey Birdette, an Australian lingerie boutique chain, held a contest this year inviting fans to submit original short films to promote their brand. Hmm, sounds like a great way to get film students to do free PR. Regardless, the results were very impressive and the winning entry, ‘Elle Tourmente’ by director Angela Ferraro, is exceptional. Check out the rest of the ‘Saucy Shorts’ here.
Victoria’s Secret – Angels Lip Synching
Victoria’s Secret churned out a couple of dozen high-end BTS vids and big-budget commercials this year, but this is the one that sticks like glue. Released online as a promo for the VS Fashion Show last month, it features the usual Angels prancing around while lip synching very convincingly to Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’. The whole thing is a blast and is worth many repeat viewings. The song fits VS perfectly and you will swear Behati can sing! And even if she can’t, one thing is certain: the Angels lip-synch waaay better than Katy.
Journelle – ‘The Lover’
NYC’s Journelle, every lingerista’s favorite store, released a series of well-crafted promo videos earlier this year. ‘The Lover’, a sultry bit of European-style tease, is our favorite.
London Fashion Week – ‘Underworld’
This was a collaborative piece to promote the Lingerie Boudoir at London Fashion Week, and features lingerie from 10 designers including Ell & Cee, Ayten Gasson, Kiss Me Deadly and Lascivious. Shot by Ali Peck, music by Marilyn Manson, and, yes, that’s Marloes Horst again.
Bordelle – S/S 2011 Teaser
This is as basic as it gets — a model posing in pieces from Bordelle’s spring 2011 line. Now try to take your eyes off it.
Armani Jeans – ‘The Tip’
Not strictly a lingerie ad, but you’d never know it. Featuring Megan Fox, there’s a clever storyline and — bonus! — a companion video featuring Cristiano Rinaldo pretty much doing the same thing.
Fresh Pair – ‘Summer Body’
Okay, okay, this is men’s underwear. But it’s just too damn funny not to show again. Ladies, prepare to nod in disgust.