Same song, new venue


April 04, 2004|By Phil Kloer | Phil Kloer,Cox News Service

How many bust lines can a bra push up / Before they see the sky?

The answer, my friend, is in a new Victoria's Secret television commercial starring Bob Dylan.

In one of the strangest marriages of art and commerce imaginable, the poet laureate of the counterculture, an iconic heavyweight of hip detachment, is shilling young women in lingerie.

Dylan appears in the ads, which made its debut Tuesday during American Idol and will run on The O.C., Will & Grace and other shows in 15-, 30- and 60-second versions.

Hey, Mr. Lingerie Man, play a song for me.

The ads use Dylan's song "Love Sick" from 1997's Time Out of Mind. Dylan appears in black shirt and white tie; model Adriana Lima appears in bra, panties and high heels.

At least they don't have him singing "Everybody must get a bustier."

"We asked and he agreed," said Ed Razek, chief creative officer for Victoria's Secret. "I can't speculate as to his reasons, but I would not guess money is a large motivator."

Razek said the amount of Dylan's fee is confidential.

Fan reaction has been mixed. Postings on Internet forums have been supportive ("Bob Dylan's music and attractive women in underwear are two of my favorite things"); skeptical ("Realistically, what woman is going to run out and buy a lace teddy because they hear an aging Dylan singing over the commercial?"); and brutally succinct ("Ick").

The Victoria's Secret campaign is the first TV ad Dylan has appeared in in his 40-plus year career. Apple Computers used his photo for its "Think Different" print campaign, and he allowed the Bank of Montreal to use his song "The Times They Are a Changin'."

Dylan was unavailable for comment. But at a press conference way back in 1965, he was asked if he would ever sell out to commercial interests, and reportedly deadpanned, "women's undergarments."

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