An inexplicably loose menage-a-trois situation in a hotel room: a Black man combing his afro without the proper equipment: a partly nude woman uncomfortably straddling a bass guitar; these are just some of the things you will see in this puzzling short commissioned by Vauxhall to help market their new Adam Rocks Air.
The short was directed by one James Brown (no, not that James Brown), whose mission was to express to viewers how the new Adam Rocks Air derives its styling and essence from the raw, chic fashion and freedom of the rock n’ roll scene. It follows “The Vauxhalls,” a fictitious rock n’ roll band so counter-cultural that they’ve decided they won’t be like all those other anti-corporate rock bands; they’ll just go ahead and name themselves after one of the world’s largest automakers’ brands.
Call us critics, but we think that the short rather misses its mark. It features very little fashion, and shows even less of the Vauxhall Adam Rocks Air. The short is set to the (deplorable, obnoxious) soundtrack of a song entitled “Heart Is A Beating Drum,” and yet no one in the band appears to actually play the drums. Even the singer doesn’t open her mouth during the band’s entire hotel room rehearsal session before the gig, despite having her hand on the microphone. Presumably she just likes the heft.
But most infuriating of all, while we’re no strangers to the use of sex in advertising, not only is there no appreciable benefit to a mostly-nude woman straddling a bass guitar, but the entire short comes off as a loosely held-together excuse to show star Abbey Clancy topless and acting implicitly sexual. As much as humanly possible. It’s like a Gucci ad with (somehow) even more pretense.
If freedom, fashion and rock n’ roll amounts to a pointless display of implicit rampant sexuality and unwarranted advances on musical instruments, Vauxhall can count us out.