In art, as in surfing, imitation is seen as the refuge of those without the talent necessary to forge ahead with their own unique style. In advertising however, imitation is seen as absolutely fine, so long as you can get away with it, and provided you actually manage to shift enough units of whatever it is you’re trying to flog.
Back in the mid-80s, a certain iconic denim trouser manufacturer put out an advert which was to become equally renowned in its own right, featuring an authentic-looking 1950s greaser stripping down to his white boxer shorts in a crowded laundrette. The advert spawned almost as many imitators as it sold pairs of jeans (countless millions, by the way, so we’re exaggerating just a little), and it has been remembered vividly ever since by all who saw it.
Welcome then to Panasonic and Rip Curl’s eye-catching promotional short Naked Surfer Girl, which has been released to promote the Lumix GH2 digital camera. This time it’s not a young Fonzie lookalike who struts into the laundrette oozing confidence and sex appeal, but a tousled-haired surfer girl, and instead of jeans she’s stripping off a soggy wetsuit (plus a rather fetching shiny orange bikini).
The twist is she tosses a slightly sandy camera into the washing machine too, much to the astonishment of the gormless looking bloke who’s presumably in there washing his sweatpants. We’re guessing the idea is that the GH2 has been waterproofed so effectively that you can cheerfully put it through the wash, in which case it’s also ideal for capturing those unforgettable moments in the surf. Whatever, it’s a cool little film, so have a look.