Aldo Times Square billboards

Aldo Times Square billboard

This ad involved tremendous expense at every step: developing the concept, taking the picture, producing the billboard, renting the space, and installing the billboard. Nothing in the image is a chance element. As the only purpose is to sell shoes, the why is clear. Right now, we can start to discuss the what. The how is a big question that will need much more data and thought.

The picture shows an attractive and happy young woman whose feet are bound by shoes with extensions / protrusions that are intended to make her taller, more erect. She’s not standing, but instead is squatting while manipulating with her fingers a delicate musical instrument that has an orifice and a lip. The model is wearing skin-tight shorts and a very military-style (if not some actual uniform) jacket.

Clearly, with the wearer to one degree or another crippled, high heels have no practical value. For the current crop of heavy leather foot armor, there’s nothing delicate or pretty. (Cinderella surely didn’t dance in any of these.) This style of footwear is a dramatic exploration of sado-masochism, a ceremonial jousting match between women out in the aura.

Aldo Times Square billboards

The complete installation of the Aldo billboards in Times Square.

The top image shows female and male legs sticking up from underneath a pile of candy-colored inflatable mock musical instruments. To the left, there’s a man mounting a piano and a woman sitting on a juke box. From top to bottom, from initiation to consummation, the images form a clear series. As the models all have the echo of one (wo)man bands, there’s a don’t ask, don’t tell tone to the collection. The viewer’s subconscious can accept the message any way that it prefers.

With your feet ball-and-chained by Aldos, you might not be ready for running, but the images create the strong suggestion that you will be perfectly prepared for running around.

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Anthony Olszewski

Anthony Olszewski has written on a wide variety of topics: cage birds, tropical fish, popular culture, the poetry of Amiri Baraka and a chapter on genetics for a veterinary text book, as a small sample. He worked as an editor at a magazine produced by TFH, the world's largest publisher of pet books. Anthony Olszewski is the author of a booklet on Hudson County history, Hudson County Facts, and a book of short stories, Second Thief, Best Thief, that are sold on Amazon. Anthony Olszewski established PETCRAFT.com in 1996. A pioneer on the Web, the Site continues to provide unique information on a range of companion animals, focusing on birds and fish. As a community service, he operates Jersey City Free Books. Anthony Olszewski was born in Jersey City, NJ (Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital, 1956) and is a member of Mensa. Email at anthony.olszewski@gmail.com

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