Broadcast censors would have a tough time with this one: Should a man be allowed to go topless in a TV commercial if he looks pretty convincingly like a woman? Stav Strashko, 19, an androgynous male model born in the Ukraine and raised in Israel, does just that in this Toyota spot—strutting in bikini bottoms before turning around to show his feminine face and male chest. The tagline translates to, "Not trendy, not casual, not for everyone," according to Copyranter. "I realized that I was androgynous when I began to model," Strashko said in a recent interview. "All the stylists put women's clothes on me, and then it struck me that I really look like a woman. … I get mistaken for a girl all the time, and I'm used to it now. Usually when people talk to me they soon realize I'm a boy, but sometimes people just keep treating me as a girl, not realizing who I really am. I believe that the mind sees what it wants." The Toyota spot, which has gotten more than half a million YouTube views since Sunday, is reportedly airing in Japan. Androgynous models have done plenty of advertising work before, though it often seems gimmicky like this—as when the male androgynous model Andrej Pejić demonstrated the effects of a retail chain's push-up bras.
The Fans. The Brands. Social Good. The Future of Sports. Don't miss the upcoming Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit and Upfronts, a live virtual experience on Nov. 16-19. Early-bird passes available until Oct. 26. Register now.