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NEW YORK — Nobody can accuse Diesel of taking itself too seriously.
This story first appeared in the January 16, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The $660 million company, which is celebrating its 25th year in business this year, called a rare press conference Wednesday to reveal results of market research and to unveil its plans for 2003 advertising. The new ads are based on fake research done by the company which, in the end, proved a point that conducting research on the Generation Y consumer is somewhat impossible, since their interests change so consistently.
Instead of conducting this research, Tony DiMasso, chief operating officer of Diesel, said, “Go with your gut feeling and offer only the best products your company can.”
In a one-hour presentation, a faux Dr. William Frost of the nonexistent Erie, Pa.-based Independent Research Center detailed these fake research tactics, saying that the company placed microchips into 1,000 Diesel products in order to track the lifestyles of the wearers of the jeans, shoes, handbags and eyewear. The outcome: useless knowledge. For example, “The three most common stains found on Diesel clothing,” and “Psycho-graphical analysis of ways in which Diesel individuals put their hands in their pockets.”
While some attendees took notes and others laughed at these results, what wasn’t revealed until the close of the conference was that what was being shown was the print ad campaign for spring 2003. Diesel plans to advertise in such magazines as V, Vogue, Jane, Teen Vogue, Stuff, Interview and Paper. Also revealed was the company’s first TV and movie theater ad campaigns since 1999, which will begin running in April or May and will air on television networks worldwide.
Last year, Diesel reportedly spent $30 million on its spring advertising, and the firm said the budget this year is 20 percent higher.
The invitation for the press conference recommended that attendees wear a tie, which the executives were sure to do —anything to fool the press and make themselves look serious.
“As you can see, it’s very hard for us to be serious even when we wear suits,” DiMasso said.
“The last time I dressed like this was in 1988 and it was for my wedding,” added Maurizio Marchiori, vice president of marketing.