When I opened the latest issue of “Harper’s Bazaar” and saw this ad campaign, my mind went absolutely blank, I truly did not know what to think about this ad; and I still don’t know how I really feel about it. Breast Cancer is such a serious and most times fatal disease, that it made me wonder what the Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Foundation was thinking when their ad people came up with this 1 page spread. Maybe I’ve got a dirty mind, but the first thing I thought after the initial shock was soft porn (like I said, maybe I’ve got a dirty mind!)
I myself ask what were they thinking, because as a creative person, I’m really interested in what the thought process was to come up with this shot. I am far from a prude (at least in my opinion) and I’m one of the most open people I know (my sister will attest to this), but I just don’t think this ad sends the right message, what is the message? When I think of breast cancer, I don’t think of nubile, full-lipped young women under 20, with high perky breasts (I’m not saying it cannot happen to a young woman); but I think of the pain, constant medications, chemo, loss of hair, and families trying to come to terms with what’s happening to a loved one.
I think of going for your mammogram, waiting and then freaking out when you get that phone call, telling you that you need to come back, because the image wasn’t clear or they couldn’t see properly or they saw something. A version of this scenario happened to both myself and my sister, and in my sister’s case, twice! We were both blessed that there was nothing serious, but the anguish of waiting was awful. I’ve also had other friends go though this, its nerve-racking.
Apparently this ad has been around since last year, but I’ve never seen it until recently (where was I?). This campaign was staged by renowned fashion photographer Michael Thompson, who has contributed to high-end magazines, such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair to name a few.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions regarding this ad; I’d like to have an open dialogue if possible. No one’s answer/opinion is right or wrong, I’d just love to know your thoughts. In your opinion does it send a clear message? Is it an artful way of talking about Breast Cancer or is it just plain offensive to you?