Sunday, 7 February 2010

Fancy a quick fling?

Last year's breakout horror hit was Paranormal Activity - the story of an obnoxious young couple being terrorised by a malevolent supernatural energy. It may have cost less than the average family's gas bill, but director Oren Peli cleverly used its super low budget to its advantage, by allowing the audience to imagine the horrors taking place. Rather than gruesome images and spurting arteries, the film focused on the spooky sight of a young woman being attacked by an unseen entity.

Whenever a new sleeper hit comes along, its influence can immediately be felt in all the knock-offs and 'homages' that rush to market. But the impact of Paranormal Activity has manifested itself in one particularly surprising initiative.

Wrangler has just launched a new website to promote its (not entirely butch-sounding) 'Bluebell' range of jeans, starring 'legendary' male model Tony Ward. Designed by Swedish digital agency Kokokaka, the website allows you to manipulate Tony and even rip his clothes off.

You can unzip his cardigan, tear off his shirt and drag him off his chair, before throwing him across the screen like a rag doll with obliques. Of course it's all done incredibly well, but there's something a bit disturbing about an interactive site that encourages you to strip someone against his will and indulge in a little guilt-free violence.

I'm sure people will claim it's just a bit of harmless flash-based fun, but I wonder how opinions would differ if it was a woman being stripped and knocked about.

Given that Wrangler Jeans have always been associated with masculine pursuits such as rodeos, country music and American football, I can't quite see how much this homoerotic execution will appeal to the brand's fans. Unless of course they see it as a virtual queer-bashing.

Still, as one of Madonna's most famous ex-boyfriends, I'm sure this isn't the first time that Tony's been pushed around and manipulated in the public eye.

Give it a go here:

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