A Christmas ad campaign from a British clothier aims to elevate the dreaded single party girl ritual -- rebranding the Walk of Shame as the Stride of Pride with the help of a designer frock.
The hilarious and beautifully shot video ad follows a sequence of young women navigating a busy urban morning commute in last night's sparkly cocktail dress and heels (or in one case, bare feet); backed by a spare, instrumental version of Morning Has Broken.
Avoid the Walk of Shame, reads a message on the screen, and we then meet a much healthier-looking woman smiling as she slips into her apartment building in the early morning hours.
The ad spot is intended to demonstrate how elegant and versatile a Harvey Nichols dress is -- but of course, the model wearing it is perfectly put together and looks as though she just stepped out for the evening.
Harvey Nichols is a high-end department store carrying upmarket designers -- its closest stateside counterpart is probably Fred Segal. The average price of a dress in the current online catalog -- which features designers like Chloé, Stella McCartney, and Diane von Furstenburg is about £500 (roughly $780 USD).
At that price, women should feel as though they can walk with their heads held high (and they can probably afford a taxi).
The ad's YouTube page encourages women to share their #Walk of Shame stories on Twitter. (Most tweets using the hashtag are simply redirecting to the ad, however).
The notion of the Walk of Shame has recently come under fire by academics at the University of Georgia.
I think this is a double standard for women and men on campus, Cecilia Herles, assistant director of the Institute of Women's Studies, told the campus newspaper. It's problematic in that it refers to women only and not to men.
I think people are uncomfortable with the idea that women are sexual beings and personally have sex with whomever they want, whenever they want, added Sophie Cox, co-facilitator for the Women's Studies Student Organization. It's uncomfortable for them to admit that women aren't little innocent girls.
This is not Harvey Nichols first advertising-related controversy: A 2003 print ad campaign was criticized for being insensitive to people who had been victims of car wrecks: The image showed a woman applying lipstick behind the wheel, oblivious to the fact the she is about to run over a pedestrian.