Imagine an anti-aging cream so good it turns grown-ups back into children.
Last week, Kiehl's and Paramount teamed up to promote Zoolander 2 ahead of its Feb. 12 launch with a real-life "Derek Zoolander Center for People Who Don't Age Good." A play on the first movie's "Derek Zoolander's Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good," the experiential stunt—temporarily set up in New York's West Village—offered visitors a ridiculous tutorial at the hands of (naturally) male models.
But marketing shop Night Agency also hyped the event with five videos featuring celebrities reading voiceovers about the benefits of the center's program—while on screen, children lip-sync the monologues as young-again versions of the weathered old stars.
The personality selections are all smart. Alec Baldwin's whiskey voice, dripping with an apparently natural disdain for existence, makes for a perfect juxtaposition with a cherub-faced blonde boy. A tweenish stand-in for perennial '90s it-girl Chloë Sevigny ridiculously whines about suffering from a serious illness (getting old).
By the time a de-aged Martha Stewart appears on screen with a yellow knit sweater wrapped around her shoulders, over a white blouse and pearl necklace, it's impossible to keep a straight face. (Her youthful self looks looks unnervingly like Macaulay Culkin, while spouting absurd culinary references.)
They're all built largely around the same deadpan gag of little kids talking like over-the-hill adults. But each one manages to introduce something a little different. Kiehl's gets extra points for a particularly counterintuitive pick—swimsuit model Hannah Davis. Red-carpet personality Giuliana Rancic, for her part, breaks character and goes on a charming tirade (complete with a left-field Honey, I Shrunk the Kids reference).
In other words, they're well written and packed with jokes, while some deliberately awkward framing—random close-ups of faces, presumably to prove the effects of the center's beauty regimen—heightens the stupidity. Then there's the brilliantly idiotic tagline: "This message was messaged to you by the Derek Zoolander Center for People Who Don't Age Good."
The concept is the perfect mashup between Kiehl's interest and the studio's. (Their co-marketing efforts also included a pair of special product sets: "The Ridiculously Youthful Collection" and, because someone couldn't resist it, "Blue Kiehl's.") Alas, the campaign might be better than the movie itself, if the reviews are any indication. The general consensus seems to be that the Zoolander concept didn't age so good.
Agency: Night Agency
Editorial: Lost Planet