Truly brilliant publicity stunts require a hook–an element that will get people talking, thinking, something to make us linger. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter rose to fame through his mastery of musical hooks and luxe spectacle, and I’m not surprised that he’s bringing that same catchy sensibility to the marketing of his cannabis brand, MONOGRAM.
Today, Carter and MONOGRAM launch the first installment of a three-part campaign that re-imagines the iconic photos of mid-century American photographer Slim Aarons, who described his work as documenting “attractive people, doing attractive things in attractive places.” His images of languorous socialites are champagne-drenched odes to a life of luxury and leisure.
For the MONOGRAM campaign, photographer Hype Williams, who directed Jay-Z’s second ever music video in 1996, is applying a contemporary lens to Aarons’ vision of “the good life.” Williams re-shot a series of Aarons’s iconic images, echoing the fashion and framing of the original photos but featuring elements of street style and starring “modern personalities” including best new artist Grammy nominee Chika, culinary experts and activists Ghetto Gastro, rapper and songwriter Curren$y, designer and stylist Aleali May, and fashion and beauty model Slick Woods.
Needless to say Williams and Carter’s re-imagining of the good life includes what Vanity Fair described as “casually smoking weed in a way that can only be described as glamorous.”
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