Remember that time we talked about Express's ridiculous promos for their perfume, Love? Well, I was back in the store Monday, and lo and behold, they've done it again. For men this time. I mean, if they're going to throw skewed portrayals of love at women, they better do something comparable for men, right?
Their new cologne for men is called — wait for it — Loyalty. And check out this ad they're running:
If that picture doesn't convey loyalty, I don't know what does. They look so loyal to each other, what with their wedding rings and all. What with that look of commitment on his face. What with their obvious interest in something more than each other's bathing-suited bod.
Oh, wait, what's that you say? This picture doesn't convey loyalty AT ALL? I guess that's just Express's M.O. — take a worthwhile idea and cheapen it. The name hints of something real, and the image makes you look, so they throw them together and reveal how truly low their standards are.
It's not that I think the images in Express's perfume and cologne ads are any trashier than those in any other fragrance ads. They're actually tamer than some I've seen. It's the pairing of these images with these names that gets to me. Words derive their meaning from their context. That's like Linguistics 101.
So put the word "Loyalty" next to an image of two half-naked models, one of whom is practically groveling and one of whom looks blasé at best, and to those who see it — and view it with an uncritical eye — that's what loyalty comes to mean. Not all at once and not all the way, but somewhat. And that's a shame.
So I've come up with few alternative names for Express's cologne. These words, I believe, fit better with the image they've chosen. (I've included both adjectives and nouns, so take your pick and run with it, Express, and don't worry about compensating me. I do all my linguistic integrity preservation pro bono.)