Since making a Snake Plissken-style escape from Pudong, the Puxi landmark that has inexorably drawn our eye as we survey the okay-for-the price view from our garret hasn’t been the Sauronesque spire of the Marriott, nor the guy who does his Ghost Dog workout on the roof opposite each morning, but rather an advert for pants. Or “briefs” to those of you who’ve escaped the yoke of Queen Elizabeth II. Calvin Klein briefs, to be precise.
Yep, the harder than heckery Djimon Hounsou (we were ignorant of his identity until writing this piece, having not seen any of his films since Gladiator) has been looming over Wanhangdu Lu for a while now, guiding our cycle through the chaos that is the daily commute via Jing’an, and then staring benignly across two kilometers of cityscape into our room each night as we drift off to sleep.
Wearing nothing but the crotch-stranglers he was advertising, we found his constant presence a calming force in our life, so we were rather jarred when the smog cleared last week to reveal some wraith-like bint has taken his place.
Okay, it’s probably not such a bad thing for our own mental health — any day now we’re going to dismantle the makeshift altar in our windowseat — but who are we going to look to for a role model now in Shanghai’s advertospace?
Smug-faced dead-eyed Nicolas Cage and his dodgy wrist-watch pose?!?
The closest this Shanghaiist comes to following fashion is when ayi hides his “Lacoset” (sic) shirts, so as a marketing campaign, did Djimon work on us? Well, the amount of chafing we’ve suffered over the past few months thanks to our purchase fake technicolor 10 RMB Calvin’s is surely a testament to the power of the billboard. As well as highlighting the very real need for a good quality fabric softener. Not to mention our need for a workout.
Djimon Hounsou image from www.freshpair.com
Nicolas Cage image from www.montblanc.com