HEADTURNING CAMPAIGN. Suitsupply’s controversial move may have lost them 12,000 Instagram followers, but despite the negative backlash it embraces the positive reactions its received
Most companies do their best to avoid controversy, but in today’s day and age, sometimes bad news is a good way to get your point across, whoever may get offended. This could be said about the bold move taken by Dutch suit brand Suitsupply, which in its latest spring 2018 campaign dubbed “Find Your Perfect Fit”, features gay imagery that also includes an image of two men kissing.
The campaign images were featured across the Suitsupply’s various social media outlets and almost instantly was received with a backlash by its many followers. It has been reported that after the launch of the campaign, Suitsupply lost 12,000 of its Instagram followers overnight.
Not only losing followers, many of the images have received negative comments, some stating a boycott towards the brand while others voiced displeasure and utter discuss at the images. One of the images that depict two men kissing, which has recently been taken down by Facebook, received over 600 comments, many of which were negative.
Despite all the negative response that the campaign has received, it did not come as a surprise for the Dutch-company, but was somewhat expected. CEO Fokke de Jong has stated, “We do not aim to and cannot control the reactions, however, the new followers and positive messages that have been prominent in our social media is a good indicator that this campaign has been well received and has impacted many people positively. It’s amazing what one kiss can do.”
This isn’t the first time a campaign by Suitsupply has provoked controversy on social media, as several of its campaigns have been seen to be overly sexually orientated. Case in point, was the 2016 spring/summer campaign titled “Toy Boys”, which depicted doll-size men in suits playing on giant female bodies, in such scenes as, men sliding down a model’s bare chest, straddling a woman’s neck, standing on a woman and spraying a hose into her mouth. In 2004, several images of the brands “Shameless” campaign had to be removed from a London Suitsupply shop as they were seen to be overly sexual and were displayed where they can be easily seen by children.
Suitsupply is a suit brand that was founded in 2000 by Fokke de Jong in Amsterdam. The brand has quietly made a name for itself as a place where convenience, quality, and price all meet. Being highly prized for its high-quality at a more reasonable price, it’s no surprise that Suitsupply was named as one of the best places for suits in New York in 2012. It currently operates over 90 stores on 3 continents, including 34 in North America and has plans to open stores in Sydney, Stockholm, Helsinki, San Diego, Brooklyn, and Boston.
Below is the video campaign for Suitsupply’ Spring Summer 2018 campaign: