Magazine article New Internationalist

From This Month's Editor

Magazine article New Internationalist

From This Month's Editor

Article excerpt

Late at night, unable to sleep in the muggy heat, I channel-hop. I alight on BBC World - a documentary about a swish London ad agency working on a Brazilian liquor company's big international splash. Millions are at stake. In such circumstances, when are they not?

The creative team aim for instant recognition coupled with a subtle, nearsubliminal evocation of Brazilian flava. They plump for the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer that towers over Rio de Janeiro. A suitable hunk with designer stubble and facial features that faintly echo the most common images we have of Jesus is found. They pose him, arms outstretched. The welcoming gesture of the statue gets transformed into insouciant, couldn't-care-less sexiness. The model holds the pose in the backseat of a stretch limo, bare-chested against the side of a swimming pool, etc. There's endless airbrushing, details added and subtracted, lighting and colouring worked over.

The pictures gain something of the aura of holy relics. …

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