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Drapers Debate: Is the Wonderbra 'Decoder' a turn off for women

The company behind the iconic ‘Hello boys’ billboards of the 90s is going to set tongues wagging in the world of lingerie advertising yet again.

This time it won’t be by causing pile-ups on motorways, but by featuring (shock) a fully-clothed model. But is it a turn off for the female customer?

Jill Geoghegan

Yes - Jill Geoghegan

The images of a modestly dressed Adriana Ceranova were launched this week (Oct 2) in a bid to encourage consumers to download Wonderbra’s new app, the Decoder, which will allow customers to scan the image and reveal the underwear underneath.

Ingenious? Certainly. Innovative? You betcha. But sales boosting? I’m not so sure.

The way I see it, while having all the promise of being a marketing dream, Wonderbra’s new campaign targets a very specific market and isolates another.

The James Bond-esque app will undoubtedly be a hit with young men, as it hones in on the quintessential teenage boy’s fantasy- undressing a supermodel.

But I wonder if the female demographic will be left cold by this steamy marketing ploy. While many men may be eager to peel back the layers of the very beautiful Cernanova, the excitement of such an act may be lost on the ladies.

While Wonderbra gears up for the coming months where eager consumers can take a peek at the model’s ‘wonders’ in a range of magazines, websites and special bar screenings (I kid you not),  unless the brand is relying on boyfriend’s buying gifts for their other halves, I don’t see this x-ray app translating into a rise in sales.


No - Ruth Faulkner

I think this an inspired move by Wonderbra.

Not only will they gain kudos by being the first lingerie brand to feature a fully-clothed model in one of their campaigns (a decision which is bound to ensure they are memorable for yet another one of their advertising stunts) but there is a genuine point to this, aside from the obvious attention grabbing benefits.

Anyone who has ever had lingerie fitted will know that how a bra looks once you are fully clothed, is almost more important than how it looks when you are not.

I recall my incredulity when I was first asked by a shop assistant fitting a bra for me to put my top back on so I could see if I was happy with the way it looked under my clothes, but this is the way most people will actually see the final results, so it’s the look that counts.

By featuring Adriana Ceranova fully-clothed, Wonderbra is sending consumers the message that its lingerie is not just sexy, but that it also serves a purpose.

Admittedly, the Decoder could be considered by some to be a gimmick, but I think it might just be a gimmick that has the desired effect. People are generally curious and so there is no reason to assume that they wouldn’t want to see what the underwear Ceranova has on actually looks like.

Will it translate into sales? Well, anything that gets people talking about a brand can only be a good thing (all publicity is good publicity and all that) and as is clear from this blog, the first part of that triusm has been ticked off.

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