by: Scott Goodson

Perhaps they are equally sexy. And that's a marketing challenge if one portfolio of product is a great deal more expensive. How do you feel the luxury and fork over thousands of dollars more for one shirt vs another?

Tom Ford has kinda disappeared the past few years. Yes he has a store up on Madison...not far from the FrogPond. But in terms of media presence, he's sort of fallen off the map a little...apart from a few ads and articles featuring him (which don't seem to be generating the level of buzz Tom Ford used to enjoy a decade ago). His latest ad motif for his line of sunnies seems to have taken a different turn. It feels a lot more like the agent of provocation Tom Ford was once loved for. The thing is, while it is causing a stir (the Italian media watchdogs have forbidden it's presence in the country) it feels like the images we are seeing from our friendly neighborhood sex-always-on-the-brain contemporary gen-y fashion guru Dov Charney, founder of American Apparel.

Which raises a series of interesting questions. How can sex be both masstigue and luxury? From a person on the street's perspective, which one feels more special? Which one makes YOU feel more special? More worth that extra $2000? I wonder if the use of press advertising for both brands, and others like Calvin Klein, puts them all in the same box.

I wonder if the difference needs to be the experience.

If so, then the digital space would be the natural environment for a luxury brand to feel, act and be different. Case in point was the brilliant use of the digital presence by Diesel last year (below is one of the vids featuring the two Heidi's) when two girls locked a salesman in a room for 48 hours and teens from around the world could ichat over ideas for them to torture the guy. This was a premium experience that ursurped any print ad or bus shelter poster. The buzz alone from this execution was worth millions of Euro.

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