Making a sexy lingerie video isn’t all that hard. Get yourself a camera, a model, some knickers and an on-trend pop song for a soundtrack and away you go.
If you don’t believe me just search YouTube, which is infested with tens of thousands of DIY efforts from aspiring filmmakers, over-eager boyfriends and would-be pornographers.
Now, making a professional film suitable for promoting a hip lingerie brand … that’s another matter.
The past year saw brands from around the world using videos more than ever before, often scoring viral internet hits that rival music videos.
Some established brands went for ambitious, big-budget productions like the new Damaris-Johnny Green collaboration and drew big audiences. But irresistible indie delights like The Loved One‘s ‘girl party’ shoot prove that you don’t need to hire Michael Bay to create something truly memorable.
A few notes about our annual best-of list for 2011 lingerie videos:
Agent Provocateur – ‘Always Remember‘
Paz de la Huerta starred in no fewer than six short films with the odd public service message: wear your AP undies so you’ll look good if you accidentally expose yourself in public. Must have hit a nerve, because this was the most-watched lingerie ad of the year (non-VS category).
Rihanna for Emporio Armani
Rihanna strips down to her undies and puts on her new jeans, both by Armani. The agencies call this vertical marketing. Whatever, it was one of the year’s slickest productions.
Beyonce – ‘Best Thing I Never Had’
Not a lingerie ad, but a video single that just happened to feature the Queen in Agent Provocateur’s bridal lingerie collection. If there is a hall of fame for product-placement, this will be there.
Kate Upton for Guess Lingerie
Does Kate qualify as a celebrity yet? Given that she starred in photoshoots and videos for a zillion different lingerie and swim brands this year, we’d say yes. This smooth, sultry clip for Guess shows what all the fuss is about.
Forrest + Bob – ‘The Fallen‘
This was one of the most-seen lingerie films of the year. But don’t watch this five-minute soft-core gem unless you have a defibrillator handy and the curtains drawn.
Damaris – ‘Packing Heat‘
Humphrey Bogart in a lingerie commercial? Sure, why not? This ambitious production may be the first-ever lingerie action flick. Arty film noir fun from the same people who created the award-winning Chore last year.
Agent Provocateur – ‘Fleurs du Mal‘
This much-discussed comic chiller features zombies in very expensive undies. What is the world coming to?
Calvin Klein X
What would the year be without a Calvin Klein censorship scandal? We were totally unimpressed by CK’s strip-with-your-friends-in-a-box series from CK One, but this much-banned ad for men’s brand CK X is smokin’.
The Freedom Project – Lonely Hearts / AlwaysSometimesAnytime
The Freedom Project was an arty collab that somehow connected the New Zealand brand Lonely Hearts with the Jonathan Franzen novel Freedom. It’s hard to explain, but we absolutely adored it. Learn more about the project here.
Agent Provocateur Home Collection – ‘In Praise of My Bed‘
The least-seen of AP’s many video productions in 2011, this one is simply perfect. This time they’re promoting bedding, not lingerie, but you wouldn’t know it. You’ll never think the same way about your bed again.
The Lake & Stars
An evocative performance piece that accompanied the New York label’s pop-up shop in November, this film makes a stripper pole seem like a ballet prop.
La Fille d’O – ‘Different Suit‘
This Belgian label makes you re-think what sexy means. This was one of many out-of-the-box small films promoting LFDO’s fashion-forward fall collection.
Strumpet & Pink
Because its inimitable creations are custom-made, most people never get a chance to see what S&P’s knickers look like on a model. Which is what makes this new video so precious. I keep expecting the model to turn into a bird.
The interactive ‘Flashmob‘ film from this UK cult label was the best lingerie video of the year — and a great technical and marketing achievement to boot. But you can only see it here. The film above is a BTS video from the Flashmob launch party, and it’s a lot of fun too.
Elisabetta Canalis for Roberto Cavalli
This is sad. A BTS vid shot just before George Clooney decided this woman wasn’t good enough for him. And the soundtrack — ‘Only Girl in the World‘. Sigh. Give yourself a shake, George: even Warren Beatty had grown up by your age.
Between The Sheets
If you’re a fan of either Coney Island, model Susan Coffey or Between The Sheets’ casual Playdate collection, you’ll find lots to like in this DIY promo film.
Bar Refaeli and Pink Martini’s ‘Bitty Boppy Betty‘ — what could be more fun?
Belle et Bonbon
A nice showcase, with a gorgeous soundtrack by Vashti, from an exciting new UK label.
The Loved One
How do you inject some zip into your lingerie photoshoot? Two words: surf rock! Absolutely adorable.
What did this poor woman do to get tossed into a tiny cell with no mattress and just her PJ Bobettes to keep her warm? We may never know, but watch for a big splash in 2012 from this Miami label.
How did Etam spread the word about its live-streamed runway show in January? By sending models into the streets of Paris. Brrr. BTW, the show itself was fabulous. You can see it here.
A polished promo for Fifi’s cabaret-style runway show at Paris’s notorious Crazy Horse. And since you asked, yes, I will be your candy.
Blush Berlin – ‘Pardon, Paris‘
Blush-Berlin hits the sweet spot with this taunt of French labels that send their models out to accost strangers on the street. Take that, Etam!.
Cherry Blossom Girl
Super-sweet and super-girly, this video was a perfect match for CBG’s much-admired collection for Etam.
Intimissimi – ‘Be Italian‘
Irina Shayk and that song from ‘Nine‘? Whatever they’re selling, we’re buying.
Freya – ‘Holy Fit‘
Part of Freya’s memorable campaign to (finally) get women into bras that fit.
This viral pre-Christmas video from the UK online retailer was spot-on. In fact, FigLeaves claimed its sexy Christmas photoshoot drove sales up by 65%.
What would any year be without a clever nudge-nudge commercial from naughty Ann?
Intimissimi – ‘Feel Like a Woman‘
This one has a hilarious subtext that you might miss. This time, Intimissimi and Irina are peddling men’s undies.
Wait for the punchline, then go to www.askmeaboutmypanties.com to find out what this is all about. That’s all we’re saying.
Blush Berlin – ‘Secret of Love‘
Another one from the German label, which produces very smart videos and this year earned plaudits for its send-up of Rupert Murdoch. This one is very subtle, with a lovely punchline.