Is Asymptote’s Lise Anne Couture’s Blackberry Ad a Bad Thing?


A Daily Dose of Architecture had a bone to pick with Research in Motion and their ad agency for selecting the architect Lise Anne Couture for a recent ad for their Blackberry phone. The post says that Couture, a co-principle of Asymptote Architecture, certainly is an interesting subject with a lot of quality work behind her firm, but that it seems obvious that she was selected for the campaign not because she’s a big deal, but simply because she’s very photogenic. So they raise the question, paraphrased here, “Why not someone like Zaha Hadid instead?”

I was also surprised that a more well-known architect didn’t get the job. But when one pictures the most famous woman architect, Zaha Hadid, it’s easy to see the shallow, surface-oriented minds of the advertisers easily making that decision, particularly with the fact that advertising isn’t limited to the page these days, but also includes the requisite sound + video.

While we understand their point, we also feel the need to stand up a little for Couture and for all those involved in the ad. While we can’t say for certain, but we’d bet that they would have been thrilled with landing Hadid, had she been available and interested in the job, to make no mention if they could have even afforded whatever her sure-to-be-extremely-expensive endorsement rate is. But beyond that, to hold this ad up above all the billion others that feature attractive “real life people,” is a little strange. The whole of advertising is largely illusion, as is most any form of entertainment mediums. And personally, we’d rather see an attractive, genuinely interesting person cast for these things than suffer any more of Dove‘s Campaign for Real Beauty pandering.