We have all been victims of negativity and criticism on social media. Whatever you do online, there is always somebody ready to criticize. And when hit by unjustified hate, most of us take a step back. But hiding and feeling bad about is not going to help anyone.
The truth is this: the more you expose the hate you get, treating it with irony and irreverence, the less power it has to cause harm. This is why we are launching Haute Couture. A unique collection designed to do just that: disempower hate.
Where to start if not from what we have experienced directly? We took some of the hate Diesel received as a brand, like “Diesel is dead” and “Diesel is not cool anymore”, showing them with pride and turning them into unique items.
Then, because no one gets more hate than the celebrities and names we follow on social media, we are kicking this off with a group of polarizing global personalities including Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane, Bella Thorne, Bria Vinaite, Tommy Dorfman, Miles Heizer, Yovanna Ventura, Barbie Ferreira, Yoo Ah-In and Jonathan Bellini, to help deliver an important message: "The more hate you wear the less you care."
They chose some of the worst comments they have ever received, and we have designed exclusive Haute Couture items for each of them. Nicki Minaj was dubbed “The Bad Guy.” Gucci Mane was told “Fuck You, Imposter.” Bella Thorne was named a “Slut.” And, Tommy Dorfman was called “Faggot.” All these comments are now limited-edition items in the Haute Couture collection, available from September 19 in selected Diesel stores and on diesel.com.
This new chapter of Diesel communication, created by Publicis Italy, starts and lives where online hate is born – mostly on social media - with a series of tailor-made videos for each member of our stellar cast. We can see them dance and ironically celebrate the hate they have received, helping the world experience, first-hand, the campaign message.
We are also encouraging everyone out there to create their own one-of-a-kind Haute Couture items. In key markets around the world, starting from October 6, we will let our customers personalize the new collection, creating and wearing the worst comments they have ever received. And with the proceeds from the sale of the Haute Couture items, Diesel will be making a donation through the Only The Brave Foundation in support of anti-bullying and cyberbullying programs in different countries around the world.
Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.
There’s a team of people in Publicis Italy and DIESEL that is responsible and involved in every step on any project, from creating the brief and coming up with the idea, to producing and delivering each asset in every format known to man. I am proud to be a part of this team and my role is (global) creative director.
Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about?
This is DIESEL’s take on online hate. While most would say hide/delete it, pretend it’s not there, DIESEL thinks that you don’t make online hate disappear by hiding it. On the contrary: expose it, make fun of it and you’ll take away its power. So, we dedicated the entire FW18 collection to do just that: we took the worst hate comments DIESEL and certain polarizing celebrities received online and put them on clothes, creating Haute Couture. Because the more hate you wear, the less you care.
Tell us about the creative brief, what did it ask?
Sure. The brief asked “what the hell are we gonna do next?”
(I kid, I kid)
With every brief, we have a collection/product/philosophy to promote. But this time, we also had a big name to endorse it and the opportunity to partner up for a capsule collection. So, it all started with “ok, why does DIESEL do celebrity endorsement and how?”
Which insight led to the creation of this piece of work?
It’s easy to get hate online. And it’s hurtful. Especially when you hide it. But when you expose it with self-irony, it loses its power. It can’t touch you anymore. Celebrities get loads of hate and criticism every day for the way they are. Yet, they rise above it and continue being awesome, prolific artists that inspire millions. Of course, we’ve waltzed with a lot of big names before landing on the current cast, but it felt like we had the right reason to use them: inspire people to take the hate they receive and have fun with it.
Can you share with us any alternative ideas (if any) for this campaign? Why was this idea chosen?
This was the only idea that we presented. Initially, it was called “go with the worst” and it featured a capsule collection made from the worst hate comments the celebrities and the DIESEL brand received online. It was not fully developed, but it answered the brief on every level, from brand, to celebrity endorsement, to capsule collection, to social and to personalization. It made everyone in the room feel a bit uncomfortable. So, it felt like a very DIESEL thing to do.
How did the client initially react to this idea?
They loved it. With them, you never know if they’re super brave, or completely mad. Probably both.
What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development.
I’ve lost count of all the unpredictable incidents that we’ve dealt with for the past 9-10 months.
For example, I remember a late Friday afternoon in LA, when we got a call telling us that the collection was stuck at the customs in Kansas, and nobody there was picking up because they were out for the weekend. On Monday first thing, we were having 10 celebrities on set and no clothes to dress them in.
I also remember having to record the music again from scratch and get all the approvals from every celebrity, two weeks before the final deadline, while everyone was on vacation.
What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign through? Did you learn anything new from the experience?
The collection. The positive reactions. The negative reactions and how they can help create new items of the collection. Also, the song. It puts me in a good mood. This whole experience confirmed once again that without a team of resilient and frighteningly resourceful people, you have nothing.
Where do you see this campaign going in the future?
The next step is customization. In 42 stores worldwide, people will be able to use the hate they received to customize ANY item of the collection in a lot of cool ways. After that, wherever hate pops-up, we’ll be there to make fun of it.