After eight eventful seasons, the Dexter series has just come to an end. (You can continue reading this article without fear, it's guaranteed without spoilers !) It's hard to come back down after being inside the head of a serial killer for so long. Will you miss it? I'm not so sure. I have a feeling that Miami Metro's famous forensic scientist is now being emulated by the ambassadors of luxury. The proof is in this poster I spotted this morning: Natalie Portman, full face to sell the new Dior lipstick. The sight sent a shiver down my spine. A rather bizarre reaction, even though it's just an ordinary cosmetics ad...
And yet I had a feeling of déjà-vu that had crept in like a malaise. This feeling only found its explanation when I finally arrived safe and sound at the office: this poster echoed that of Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film A Clockwork Orange. The film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name written by Anthony Burgess and published in 1962. I will leave it to Stanley Kubrick himself to describe what his film is about (source Wikipedia) :
"[...] a social satire dealing with the question of whether behavioral psychology and psychological conditioning are dangerous new weapons that could be used by a totalitarian government seeking to impose vast control over its citizens and turn them into little more than robots."
Joyful, isn't it !
Don't you think this advert and the film poster have a lot in common? Dark, menacing eyes, make-up (false eyelashes for Alex, the main character in Clockwork Orange), and above all the pose of the hand in the foreground holding the shiny object... It would also be interesting to explore the symbolism of the metal chain adorning the tube. Whether purely ornamental or an outright weapon, the metal chain is a strong iconographic attribute of the prison aesthetic, and by extension, a symbol of deliberately outrageous urban violence associated with old-fashioned roughnecks.
Of course, no one has time to think of this at first glance... No, it's much more vicious, it's been going on under the radar. But in a split second, it strikes directly at your subconscious, or your unconscious... the collective one...
As a result, every time I see this commercial, I can't help imagining Natalie Portman saying "I'm gonna plant you!!!". Direct chill.
In conclusion, the Dior logo associated with the name of the product in all sobriety: "Rouge". Quite an effective way to baptize a white weapon! Does Miss Natalie Portman have a "Dark passenger"? One thing's for sure, Dior has followed the "Code" in terms of communication, transforming its muse into a femme fatale.
See you, Glamorous Psychopaths !
It's amazing how well they coincide. Just take the pyramid on A Clockwork Orange poster and superimpose it on the Dior ad. The result is a series of force lines that structure the reading of the advertising visual and allow us to decipher its compositional logic.
The right eye is connected to the product packshot, while the left supports the axis leading to the tube in hand. At the center of the composition, of course, is the mouth. Every element is in its "right" place!
Thank you very much, Yaël, for your observation!
Update 10/22/13 - just to piss off the haters of this article ;)