Nars pushes its ‘sex positivity’ to the visual limit in phallic Instagram ad

The post appeared on Nars' Instagram page

Shiseido make-up brand Nars is raising eyebrows online with its latest social campaign – a video of a melting lipstick that, when played in reverse, resembles a part of the anatomy not often attached to its female consumer base.

The video lasts just six seconds and was created to showcase the creamy texture, finish and warm shade of Morocco – one of 12 new editions of the brand’s line of ‘After Hours’ lipsticks.

A close-up of the make-up melting from a phallic shape to a pristine lipstick is accompanied by the caption, ‘When the nudes keep you up all night. Reach the dawn with Morocco Lipstick, a warm cinnamon’.

The film was made by Nars’ creative agency, Baron & Baron. The team worked with the client’s internal marketing, copy and social media teams to devise the video and the supporting campaign for After Hours.

The cosmetics brand has garnered a substantial amount of earned media from the campaign, with influencers including Chrissy Teigen and Meghan McCain commenting on the video. A number of commenters have slammed the company for the explicit nature of the post.

However the film is nothing but a visual manifestation of the provocative language used by Nars since its formation 25 years ago. Its products carry names such as Orgasm, The Multiple and Climax ('Never Fake it'), while a recent digital customer acquisition form carried the option of ‘No, I don’t want free Orgasms’.

“Nars was all about sex positivity before sex positivity even existed,” said Benjamin Lord, the brand’s executive director of omnichannel marketing, CRM and loyalty at CES in Las Vegas earlier this year.

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