Underwear Models, Law Library, Twitter Bring Buzz to Diesel

By: Guest | November 17, 2010 | 

Guest post by Jon Ivanco, a lawyer in training and entrepreneur.

On Thursday, Above the Law broke the story of the Diesel underwear ads that came out showcasing the lovely Brooklyn Law School library. This story is continuing to pop up all over my Twitter feed that is cued to search “law school.” The reality of the situation is wherever there is a scandal, social media is there, front and center and ready to help spread it.

Ironically, the actual events are not all that shocking or deserving of a scandal. The professional photo shoot does not show anything that would say, “That’s Brooklyn Law School!” The pictures taken are fairly common for any underwear model shoot. The library could be any library. The most identifying elements are the books with New York State written on them. I dare say because they don’t include thongs, the shoot is even less revealing than your average Victoria Secret catalogue.

So why is there attention and attachment to Brooklyn Law School? My best guess would be amazing guerilla marketing efforts by Diesel. I can’t come up with any other reason. The recipe is simple: Start by drumming up a questionable location, add some sexual posing in underwear, some sexy models, and you have a winning campaign. Sex sells. Controversy sells. Bravo, Diesel, you may not be able to shoot there anymore, but I’m sure it was worth it. This is simply proved by that amount of press and sharing you have received on Twitter during the past week.

Social media is the only reason this story is still spreading. Were this story leaked in a magazine or newspaper article, it would be dead in a matter of hours, maybe a day, max. But we are in the age of digital media, the TMZ era, an era obsessed with sharing anything controversial; I use controversial here in the most liberal sense of the word.

Is this truly controversial? The law school came out and said that they felt it was in poor taste and that they gave permission for a jean advertisement, not underwear. I don’t exactly buy it, though. If Diesel is doing an advertising campaign, I think you can assume that any clothes they manufacture would be featured. If they didn’t want to run the risk of this happening, they shouldn’t have rented out the library. Brooklyn Law, like any business, rented out its library for a photo shoot – end of story.

If these pictures were taken at an undergraduate institution known for partying, I am sure they would not have received anything close to the wildfire currently burning uncontrollably on the Internet.

Do we hold law schools to a higher standard? Should we? Does this photo shoot really affect Brooklyn School of Law negatively?

Leave a comment. Let me know what you think.

A lawyer in training, entrepreneur, out of the box thinker, and simplifier of life’s issues, Jon Ivanco is passionate about social media and its effect on the legal profession. He maintains a blog that serves as a vehicle for his commentary on transitioning into professional life.

  • lauralytics

    Jon, you pose an interesting question about standards that I think highlights the most important issue behind the perpetual buzz machine that is social media: a complete lack of standards. While I of course agree with the right to freedom of speech, I think social media has opened the global conversation up to the kind of inane blustery chit chat and commentary that should be reserved for nail salons and locker rooms. Diesel lucked out that the law school “controversy” leaked out into the twittersphere giving them brand exposure times a million, but I think this ad campaign points out a flaw not in the standards of the Brooklyn School of Law, but in the intellect and interests of the American public in general. Sure, everyone should have a voice and certainly everyone should use it. Social media is a great way to disseminate your ideas and generate conversation, but do we really have to resort to petty finger pointing, fabricated scandals, and false displays of dismay? The public should use social media outlets to discuss something with a little more substance. Like Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars.

  • jonivanco

    @lauralytics I completely agree Bristol Palin would be a more appropriate topic. Though that sarcasm is sadly the most correct observation one could make. The original fear of social media and connectedness really is coming through. the vast amounts of space junk. The more stuff we put out there in our new frontier, the internet, the more junk floats in our way of getting real information out of these mediums.

  • carrollstraus

    I think thr buzz IS good marketing– I never even heards of Deisel (the company) before this hit the ABA Journal. But it seems odd the BLS would play along.

  • jonivanco

    @carrollstraus I agree that and say that it is great marketing as pointed out in the post, my accolades to Diesel. Diesel is a major world wide brand and has been for quite some time. I’m not sure that BLS was “playing along” rather, I think that they did not fully think of all the possibilities of allowing a major fashion company to shoot at their school. Chalk it up to poor business judgment. Though someone had to leak it too.

  • carrollstraus

    I’m sure they are a major bard– I googled it. It is not a brand I would ever rhave cared about — or heard of… but they seem to have gotten a lot of attention! Too bad some of us are not the least interested in using brand names to enhace our self esteem!

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