Saturday, December 9, 2023

Gaza quicksand drowns Zara

Zara walks into the controversy open-eyed. In this sensitive, very sensitive time marketing-wise, where brands and celebrities are being scrutinized for what they said - or for what they did not say - Zara issued a new campaign titled "The Jacket". A better name would have been the straight-jacket because honestly not seeing the implications of this campaign - meaning no one from marketing, management, communication detected a hint of second-layer - is in itself insane.

Well, the image speaks for itself. Rubble? Check. Debris (in the shape of a certain country)? Check. Body wrapped in a (white) plastic covering (reminiscent of a certain burial color for a certain religion)? Check. Do I proceed? Does this remind you of - ahem - anything currently happening in the world? Of course, Gaza and the disaster hitting there. Well, if Balanciaga could not detect it, why should Zara.

But today boycott IS real. Starbucks, McDonald's, Coca-Cola are some of the brands suffering major backlash for supporting one camp again the other in the war happening in Palestine. I already spoke of how this dragged the local McDonald's franchisee in Lebanon (here and in extenso here as well). Boycott among other reasons had led Starbucks to start closing shop in many countries in the region, while their stocks dwindled 11% by the time this post is written.

Does Zara really want to join the list? It seems so. Right now words by their head of women's design Vanessa Perilman said in 2021 (while engaging with Palestinian model Qaher Harhash), which can be described as colorful (here), are doing the rounds online. So perhaps Zara is indeed set on being part of it. If that is the case, they are doing quite a good job.