H&M ‘H&M womenswear fall fashion 2017’ / Adam & Eve/DDB
As autumn comes drawing in, many brands have begun rolling out their autumn/winter collections. For some, the thought of boots, coats and scarves fills us with the joy of the cosy season, while others are sulking into their sunglasses and sandals that the excitement of summer is over. H&M’s new energetic spot showcasing its new season womenswear collection shows that we can express ourselves just as much with our winterwear while having just as much fun.
Set in Tokyo, the two-and-a-half-minute spot created by Adam&Eve/DDB begins with a scene showing Japanese businessmen relaxing in a swanky karaoke lounge set in a skyscraper. A timid Japanese woman approaches the stage and announces that she will sing Wham!’s 1983 hit Wham! Rap. As the men lean in to listen intently the camera focuses in on a TV screen playing a video which transitions into the next part of the ad.
Here we see model Naomi Campbell walking along the picturesque streets of Tokyo as she mimes the words to the Wham! classic. The film echoes the song’s original music video which sees the late Wham! lead singer, and close friend of Campbell, George Michael walking along urban streets as he raps. The song lyrics appear on screen as the song plays out reminding the viewer of the karaoke aspect. The rest of the ad features other female models including Adwoa Aboah and Camille Rowe miming lyrics to the song and dancing around in various iconic Japanese settings. We even see the Japanese woman who nervously took to the stage frolicking around and having a great time, having won over the stuffy businessmen.
Paired with the song, an anthem for rebellion which speaks about revelling in unemployment and enjoying what you do, the carefree actions of the women in the film, compared to the composed suited men who we see at the beginning, makes the ad not only a showcase of H&M’s latest womenswear range, but a celebration of female empowerment. It also gives off the general statement that all people should let loose, have fun and enjoy themselves.
At the time, the song’s release caused controversy due to its lyrical content at a time when the British left wing were discussing the ‘right to work’. Perhaps, the song’s use in this new context and setting makes another political statement, one which celebrates powerful females whose success does not compromise their femininity and desire to embrace life and have fun. In addition, the ad’s inclusion of a set of racially diverse and androgynous style models makes for refreshing viewing.
Capitalising on today’s youngsters current obsession with all that is retro, H&M’s ad, which is arguably the funkiest that has braced our screens in a long while, ultimately positions itself as a cool, youth brand that will appeal to the young as well as those that are young at heart. This in itself is sure to get people flocking to its stores regardless of whether they have eyed up an item showcased in the advert.