by Nathalie Azoulai
There is a social stigma attached to chewing gum. It usually states some rude nonchalance and sloppiness. Remember your parents or your teachers telling you off.
On last October at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Buenos Aires, the brand Beldent created an installation called “Almost Identical”. The twins were the art on display. Identical twins always draw interest and concern because their resemblance always looks so weird, almost freaking. Diane Arbus or Stanley Kubrick knew it pretty well. For the Beldent experiment, each set were dressed and styled exactly the same except for one difference: one twin was chewing a piece of gum. Throughout the day, museum-goers participated in an interactive exhibit, answering questions about their first impressions of the twins.
Of the 481 people who participated in the experiment, 73% favoured the twins who chewed gum, stating they were nicer, sweeter, more seducing and therefore more successful in life. What did you expect from an ad campaign?
Let's make it more analytical:
1. The atmosphere is quiet and serious, science-oriented, as if the future of humanity depended on the experiment, as if truth was badly expected.
2. Look a little closer: the chewer smiles and moves while the non chewer keeps still and dull. No wonder the first one wins it all. But no matter how big is the trick, the ad is still fun. Ad never deals with truth, doesn't it?