creative impulse

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The Independent Online
In its campaign for the Bijou seamless bra, Triumph International has spurned supermodels in favour of more natural-looking women. The first ad, currently on posters and in women's magazines, shows a fully dressed young woman, with the slogan "If I want a man to see my bra, I take him home"; the second, to appear in the December issue of Elle, features another clothed model, with the slogan "The only way to tell if I'm wearing a bra is to take my top off." Here, the top can be "removed": lifting an acetate overlay reveals the bra and: "Bijou - the bra that doesn't advertise itself."

The client: Triumph International (UK)

Malcolm Vagg, sales and marketing manager

We've a long history of selling our brand by taking a woman's point of view, rather than simply showing a woman wearing the product. We decided to pursue that approach, to give the brand a young, active image. We need to keep one step ahead, and the fact that our ad doesn't show a bra has moved us on from our competitors. But we also wanted to link the brand to the product, hence the presentation in Elle - the first interactive ad for bras, you might say.

The agency: Delaney Fletcher Bozell

Brian Stewart, joint creative director

Triumph's advertising has always been an antidote to bra advertising, which is usually by men and ultimately for men. Women might not be offended by that, but they may feel that the ads aren't really directed at them. We're more about real women than supermodels. The basis for Triumph's ads is that women should think they have been written by women, so we are tapping into women's attitudes about life in general, and not just with regard to sex. I think women are often privately offended by the Wonderbra ads, so our approach was one of more brains and less breast.

The ads are still bold, but present a more independent attitude. The first one advertises the fact that the bra was designed not to show under a T-shirt. Also, the model is not a supermodel type - she's got flaws - and besides, women know that buying a bra is not going to make them look like Eva Herzigova. We're wanting to get away from the whole "woman dressing for a man" idea - hence the slogan.

Unlike the Gossard ad that ran earlier this year, with the woman reclining in her underwear and: "Who says a woman can't get pleasure from something soft?", this ad presents a character in control of her situation, and of who she has sex with. There will always be a place for the pin-up, but I'm not sure it should be in a bra ad. These ads are for a new generation - the Calvin Klein generation, if you like; while there is sexuality there, it's implicit, not overt. We feel this approach is more responsible, and more sympathetic towards women.