A current consumer products ad presents an example of jewelry styling gone awry.
Presented by Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. promoting its Cottonelle brand of toilet paper, the ad attempts to be cheeky (pardon the pun) in describing its product: “If you’ve got a bum, we’ve got a way to keep it clean & fresh.”
The British model in the ad, Cherry Healey, is apparently meant to look quirky with her facial expression and ensemble of primary colors — bright blue leggings under a bright yellow short-sleeve tunic top. The brand has developed an entire Facebook campaign around the Brit’s adventures in America with the Cottonelle brand and the irreverent byline.
To add zing to her ensemble, Healey wears a multi-color, multi-strand necklace of what might be termed tribal style, and around one index finger she wears a wide strip of silvertone metal — an inexplicably uncoordinated jewelry combination.
The necklace, positioned as it is just above the product packages, distracts from the product, competing for attention with both the packaging and Healey’s face. It clutters up the ad and confuses the eye. Even worse from the model’s standpoint, the necklace draws the viewer’s eye in toward a narrow focus and makes her shoulders appear disproportionately wide. The silver ring (or is it meant to be a piece of bathroom plumbing?) is just odd, neither attractive nor interesting.
Looking at the ad, my thoughts went to one of the opening lines of the movie Lee Daniels’ The Butler, in which Cecil Gaines, the main character, as a child is learning about cotton picking from his father, Earl. in 1926 Georgia. Earl tells him: ”Now you know the cotton is ready when the bud splits and the bowl is star shaped like a big old star in the sky.”
Illustration: Photo of cotton plant from www.wikipedia.org, available courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conversation Service.
Star-shaped cotton: I ponder how easy it would be to find a jewelry designer who could riff on that motif and produce jewelry designs for Cottonelle with far more relation to the product than multi-color beads, far less distracting from the products the company is trying to sell.