Scarlett Johansson Prada Galleria Campaign
Scarlett Johansson in Prada's Galleria campaign. Courtesy of Prada

Fashion houses usually go to great lengths to make their advertising campaigns look perfectly polished. Sometimes even artificial intelligence lengths. (See Etro's otherworldly Spring 2024 set of ads.) They bring out the big guns, whether that be supermodels or celebrities, photographing them in a decked out studio or in some far-flung destination worthy of a daydream to really make an impact. Now the tide has turned. Completely in the other direction actually, as now it seems like brands are trying to make it look like the pictures of their celebrity ambassadors are paparazzi shots.

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Nobody leaned more into the trend than Bottega Veneta. In an effort to showcase its off-season, Pre-Spring 2024 collection, the fashion house, currently under new management of course, decided to capture Kendall Jenner and A$AP Rocky seemingly out and about, oblivious to the cameras snapping away. The only real clue that everything was staged is the fact that Bottega Veneta is emblazoned across every shot. Some may argue that Jenner's impeccable outfits should have been a red flag, too. But if you're familiar with her off-duty style, you know that she routinely slays frequently without even trying.

One can also argue that Gucci's newly updated Valigeria advertising campaign is set up like a pap session. The effect is mainly thanks to Jenner and Bad Bunny appearing not to notice the cameras while carting their very stylish luggage through the airport. The previous advertising campaign features images that are more staged, like the rapper playfully picking up Jenner. Which obviously ruins the illusion.

The latest fashion house to embrace this guerrilla-style approach to advertising? Prada. The latest celeb to take part? The one and only Scarlett Johansson. The Prada ambassador appears in Jonathan Glazer-directed videos as "a representation of cinema verité." The advertising campaign "blurs the dichotomy between life and art" culminating with the actress exiting the soundstage while remaining on camera. Naturally, she has one of Prada's large Galleria Studded Leather Bags in tow. The bag will only run you $7,200, in case you're wondering.

So the question remains. Will these blatant paparazzi-type images have a bigger (sales) impact? Or will standard advertising campaigns win out in the long run? Only time will tell...probably. It may depend on if consumers appreciate the kitschiness of this approach. Perhaps if more brands give in and produce similar-style ads, the trend will wear out its welcome.

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