Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cami Secret

CNN has been running an ad for a device called Cami Secret. Cami Secret is a faux camisole that ties to bra straps so that “you aren’t overly exposed.” The ad is reminiscent of the old before-and-after weightlifting advertisements, which ran in the back of men’s magazines in the ‘50s. At the top of the ad, a secretary is working at her desk without Cami Secret. Her cleavage is too apparent, and her boss, as nice a guy as he is, leers down her shirt when he comes over with some papers. But once she dons Cami Secret, the model in the ad is transformed into a demure young lady who, to use the language of the recovery movement, has detached from her boss—someone who now understands that “No is a sentence.” Later that night, she is having a candlelit dinner with a lover for whom Cami Secret is not necessary. Ostensibly, the lover has already enjoyed her wares, so that while she has not gotten herself to a nunnery, to quote The Bard, she is still not being turned into an anonymous sex object. Now, let’s talk about the architecture of Cami Secret. The product could not function with a strapless bra, which is one limitation. Strapless bras are not generally worn in business situations, which require conservative attire, but there are exceptions, which the makers of Cami Secret, for all its inventiveness, have not taken into consideration. Let’s say it’s summer and you want to reveal your shoulders but not your cleavage. What do you do? There are all kinds of problems that the advertisement doesn’t deal with, disclaimers that might have been read off at breakneck speed, as in the ads for tires and pharmaceuticals. But ultimately, Cami Secret succeeds in preventing the equivalent of the Watergate break-in when it comes to breasts. 

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