Good Style Is Always in Fashion

Elberson Senger Shuler Recalls Another Era for SouthPark Mall
ATLANTA–Combining 1940s class with turn-of-the-millennium sass, Elberson Senger Shuler’s new multimedia campaign for the upscale SouthPark Mall employs basic yet stylish black-and-white imagery to draw Carolina consumers to tenants like Tiffany’s and Nordstrom.
Breaking this week, the $2 million television, print and outdoor effort is inspired by and uses the photography of the legendary Lillian Bassman. Bassman, now 82, was head fashion photographer in the 1940s and ’50s for Harper’s Bazaar.
“Our goal was to express the elegant and satisfying shopping experience at SouthPark,” said John Roberts, art director at the Charlotte, N.C., shop. “Lillian’s work is the perfect visual . . . Her work screams fashion and understated elegance in the softest tones.”
The original stills and video homage are shot in Bassman’s renowned soft-focus, monochromatic style, yet the advertising manages to exhibit an energy that belies the quiet photographic tone.
In one print ad, a dignified, beautiful woman, back arched and dressed in black but for white gloves, looks away from the camera, more haughty than demure. The caption by copywriter Patrick McLean: “With our help, all your friends will hate you.”
In another print piece, a tuxedo-clad Sean Connery look-alike succumbs to the ambivalent wiles of a head-turning brunette. “Whiplash is not necessarily an accident,” the ad reads.
“Purchase clothes. Wind up owning men,” states another effort.
The initial television commercial, “Inexpressible Joy,” is much less pointed. Shot in a similar hazy, two-tone style, a woman slowly strolls out of a Southern mansion, dressed all in in white. While a lone piano–its ebony and ivory keys aurally emulating the cinematography–plays, the caption “Discover the inexpressible joy that comes from knowing you have exactly the right thing to wear” is revealed. A fourth print ad echoes that phrase.
A second TV commercial, “Holiday,” has been produced and will begin airing in November for the year-end shopping season.
Located in Charlotte, N.C., six miles from the South Carolina border, the SouthPark Mall will air its broadcast commercials in markets in both states. Print and outdoor messages will begin in Charlotte.