The first thing you're going to do once you get the all-clear from Dr. Fauci is yank off your face mask, climb onto a bunch of sweaty strangers, and start offering them slobbering, open-mouthed kisses, right? That's what the post-pandemic future holds in "The New Normal," the latest ad campaign from menswear company Suitsupply that has people doing a shocked double take, reports Yahoo Lifestyle. Unveiled Thursday, the ads—which will run on the company's website, on social media, and on displays in stores—feature photos of men and women in various states of undress, with an occasional guy in a suit thrown in, piled on top of each other and making out with tongues visible—even spit in some instances, per Ad Age. "The New Normal Is Coming. Get Ready to Get Closer," reads the caption with these images on Instagram.
Earlier photos on that feed show a quite different advertising approach in the past: "solitary, clothed men modeling Suitsupply's wares against white backdrops," Ad Age notes. The new campaign is apparently meant to be a shot of optimism as spring arrives, vaccinations continue, and consumers ostensibly start going on shopping sprees. "Social distancing for extraordinarily long periods of time have conditioned us to fear proximity of others and that is perfectly justified," a brand statement notes. Suitsupply CEO Fokke de Jong adds, "The campaign is simply a positive outlook on our future where people can get back to gathering and getting close." Reaction to the ads is mixed, with some calling them "fire" and "shockingly beautiful" on Instagram, per Yahoo. Esquire notes others are grossed out or put off, with one commenter calling it a bad example of "woke marketing." Some simply have questions. "Who wears a suit to an orgy?" asks one puzzled viewer, per Ad Age. (Read more advertising stories.)