So, there’s this advertising campaign. Mavericks to be exact (a Gentlemen’s club aka strip club). I picked up a copy of 48 Hours and saw a leg of their print campaign on the cover. A seductive picture accompanied by the copy “I was working late” was the advertising for Mavericks’ new fragrance Alibis.
I initially totally rejected this campaign: its concept, delivery and insinuation. I considered the scenario where the wife’s pulling her hair out convinced her husband is cheating every time he says that universally infamous line: I was working late.
While I’ll never have a husband to accuse of cheating, I felt offended by the audacity of Mavericks: to take advantage of the cliché of distracted, dishonest partners who find themselves end up at Mavericks after a long day.
I considered the position of this business in today’s time: its competing with the same product provided online. What about a strip club is different to what you can see online? I’m not going to pretend to understand what draws a man to a strip club (said man and I may have the same interests, but we differ in enjoying the presentation) – but what I will consider is the bold business move of the establishment.
Mavericks have not ruffled, but have set fire to the feathers of every feminist, wife, girlfriend and maybe even some of the husbands. But in this daring move, they have revived and reinvented their brand: ‘Mavericks is daring; we push the limits, the boundaries. Come and see for yourself.’ In essence, Mavericks have redesigned their invite to the public. They haven’t imported super-stripping-women from Stripping Heaven – they are the same women as last week. But now they are Mavericks’ women: new and improved through simple but effective advertising.
I am still offended by the campaign. It’s offside. It is disabling to the spouse trying to understand their counterpart’s distance or absence. It robs said spouse of completely believing the working late excuse and promotes cracking the foundation of the (albeit fractured) world we live in.
But – as offensive as I find the campaign; as much as I reject its sentiment, insinuation, existence (and incredibly poor art direction), I cannot deny its advertising intelligence. Mavericks pulled the age-old advertising stunt: any publicity is good publicity. They stepped on some toes and crept under some skin: which is what their mere existence as an establishment does by default anyway.
Perhaps Mavericks just reminded Cape Town that they’re still around. And through this advertising campaign, sent them street directions to come and check it out for themselves.