Be stupid, 40

Agency Network: 
January 2010
Diesel:  Be stupid, 40


Campaign microsite:

Print advertisement created by Anomaly, United Kingdom for Diesel, within the category: Fashion.


Long live stupid.

Advertising Agency: Anomaly, London, UK
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Davosk's picture

Looks like they had a deal with Taxi or Stone stockphotos.

Activity Score 4801
Art Director
Kateter's picture

ironically, this is incredibly smart campaign.

just love it.

Activity Score 2013
mikeelrapido's picture

I agree with you, great job!

Activity Score 1921
Copywriter at Evo S.C. |


ivan's picture

Sorry to put so many at once, just wanted you guys to see all as thumbs.

Creative Director at Ads of the World
jackmancer2017's picture

yeah it's occupying the whole frontpage ;p

morse's picture

I don't know why but I like it. Maybe I'm stupid. :)

Activity Score 17897
Art Director |

.. / .-.. --- ...- . / .- -.. ...- . .-. - .. ... .. -. --.

CurryJ's picture

Well, I've just been through the ENTIRE campaign and just don't know what to think. What are your thoughts, Ivan?

Activity Score 937
Copywriter |

I think; therefore I am

ivan's picture

I think the main message is that one should dare to try new things and not be afraid of failure. Essentially this is a really smart way to approach life especially if you want to experience life to the fullest. Diesel didn't invent this philosophy, countless people said this before Diesel, but Diesel decided to embrace it and they did it in a rebellious way, which will appeal to their target of young adults who are a little anti-establishment, but they also want to do something meaningful and fun with their life. So the strategy is perfect. The video explains this well. Some of the prints however remind me of jackass, which is a whole different thing. Most of them just celebrate life, and if you're aware of the philosophy they work just fine.

Creative Director at Ads of the World
Marlus Lau's picture

Humm...well said. For fashion advertising, this is quite interesting.

Marlus Lau
Activity Score 1788
Art Director at Editora O Estado do Paraná / Pós-graduação na Unicuritiba
p.syche's picture

I just looked at the entire campaign and I really really hate it. Let's start with the line itself: it promotes stupidity! And in a stupid way :) Because you can be smart AND creative, you can have the brains AND the balls, you can be smart AND ask interesting questions. I actually think all these attributes belong ONLY to smart people. Stupid people aren't creative and they're stupid because they never ask questions. And they don't have balls, they're just too stupid to understand they might get hurt sometimes.

And on the formal side - I hate that the lines repeat so often with so many ... yes ... stupid pictures. Some of those pics don't even make sense (like the 4 people on the bike, or the elephant sitting on a guy).

The last thing - the copy is too big. On the first ad it actually covers half the picture!

I think they should have used a different word, like "corky", or "crazy".

Activity Score 257
Kateter's picture

you take it too literally. the point is exactly where you got it wrong: why should it make sense? who says that everything we do should make sense? who says you can't put 4 people on a bicycle?

besides, when it comes to fashion referring to "stupid" makes more sense as reffering to "look smart" like everybody's doing. no matter how you look at it, it's more honest. in a world that desperately tries (but rarely succeeds) to "look smart", "talk smart", "act smart" and even "take a piss smart", it's nice to see a campaign that celebrates impulsivity, carelessness and pure free fun.

this is just brilliant campaign that'll win big (both in award shows as well as in sales, I'm pretty sure).

Activity Score 2013
p.syche's picture

I see your point, but I'm still not convinced by this campaign.

I agree that it's great to celebrate impulsivity, carelessness and free fun, but why do we have to be stupid to do so? Mybe this will sound pretentious, but I consider myself smart and I love impulsive actions and decisions. I find it insulting that someone says I have to be stupid to enjoy free fun and carelessness...

And thinking even more about this I think they would have been better off if they created their own word, or if they said to "Be Diesel". And copy like: "Smart people have brains, Diesel people have balls" - etc. I think that would keep the edge without promoting stupidity.

Activity Score 257
michdec's picture

I think that they are trying to shed a positive light on a word that is often used negatively and unnecessarily so. I don't think they set out to bash smart people - I think it is more an effort to encourage people that have been pulled down by being called words like stupid. I don't think they mean stupid in a completely literal sense - they mean it in the way that it it abused.

Activity Score 424
p.syche's picture

What you wrote finally convinces me a little bit towards this compaign... It's true that some brave and careless people have been pulled down by being called stupid and they deserve to be celebrated now.
It's still not my favorite campaign ever, but I hate it a bit less now :)

Activity Score 257
jackmancer2017's picture

I think it's more about the feeling it's sending rather then the direct message (be stupid). Cloth brands (and perfumes, make-up, etc) are mostly more about a whole feeling it awakes in the viewer, (the unconscious). People arn't going to expect their jeans to be smart anyway, but the whole thing of Diesel is to be free, do whatever you want, funny, daring, young and impulsive. I think it wants to associate with those terms.

That's my view on this campaign anyway.

shahidali's picture

its one stupid campaign

Activity Score 4037
Dhaka, Bangladesh |


BananAd's picture

Deep, deep, neat insights of TA, brave=stupid, who proposed this campaign, but more brave&stupid who approved. Congratulations. But in TV - too many letters there are. "Stupid" wouldn't read too much of boring letters and smart mind stream. (?)

Activity Score 101
Art Director
RisingStar's picture

Smart said "let's shoot a lot of photos".
And his Idea was stupid.

Activity Score 24
Anov Communication's picture

I'm a Yers, and an Advertising Agency Shareman and personnaly I really enjoy this campaign ... message is such clear that it could inspire a whole generation ... this is just the reflect of the Generation Y. Communicate isn't the way to reach people by the target knowledge ..? If it's not ... I will quit my job defenitly !

Anov Communication
Activity Score 42
beingofageoldgrace's picture

we are stupid animals

Activity Score 351
Ochuko's picture

p. syche, oh please. You sound too uptight. Geez!

Activity Score 34
Copywriter at Verdant Zeal Marketing Plus Communications
p.syche's picture

Smart is uptight. Stupid is clueless.


Activity Score 257
AmigoInvisible's picture

Gutsy and inspirational.

I love it.

Activity Score 195
silvi's picture

I think sometimes advertising pushes too hard to be different and irreverent.

Activity Score 4134
AmigoInvisible's picture

And they've pushed hard enough to succeed, I think.

The beauty of this campaign lies in how effectively it is targeted—if your response to it is positive, the brand perception will become much stronger; if you dislike the concept, then THAT in itself reinforces the idea that we, the users, are rebels, irreverent, and as such, won't be accepted by other conservative people.

In other words, we're pleased by the fact that you don't like it.

The campaign is actually very smart in the way it delivers its message. They have clearly demonstrated valid credentials in favor of "stupid" across the different media—particularly their video—and haven't just come up with "Be Stupid" for the sake of sounding irreverent. The philosophy behind it is compelling and genuine, which is enough to give the campaign true meaning.

Activity Score 195
Nguyen Thanh Hai's picture

Everyone is afraid of being called a conservative, especially those who do creative work. This campaign was successful in that it.

Nguyen Thanh Hai
Activity Score 101
Graphic Designer at Golden Communication Group
Robwanali's picture

exciting and fresh

Activity Score 130
Creative Director at Insight Media |

love what you do and do what you love

qwerty.key's picture

did it take smart creatives or stupid ones to creative this? smart ones... i guess... that's smart... not stupid... smart wins... not stupid... makes sense stupid?

Activity Score 18
mattlittlegym's picture

What is there to love? It's fashion. Concept low. On par with fashion advertising. It's like Abercrombie with words.

Activity Score 340
tandra chakravarty's picture

Smart lines...though all the visuals are not convincing... but campaign hits the TG.. & i believe stupid is thinking is the key to smart inventions...

tandra chakravarty
Activity Score 25
Art Director at LOWE Lintas
urban prince's picture

This morning I saw the most idiotic and consumer-insulting campaign I have ever seen in my life.. The "Be Stupid" campaign of Diesel.

The add on the bus stop was writing...: "Smart has the Brains, Stupid has the Balls. Be Stupid."

First of all, lets start with a simple observation..
This is one of the typical commercials that talk about a specific quality of character.
This quality is presented as an ideal to the consumer, and subsequently the advertised product gets idealized as an expression of this quality.

Something like this for example : "Be cool, drive BMW..", "Be passionate, drink Johnny Walker..", etc..
In this case, it is "Be Stupid, wear Diesel.."

So the first point we can make, is that Diesel is telling her potential consumers that they should buy her clothes because that would be a great way to show how stupid they are!!! (I kinda agree with this point actually..)
Or to put it in even simpler words, Diesel is telling her consumers that they are stupid..

This was a simple observation as I said..
Ok, now lets start with the heavier stuff..
If u google the campaign and u read all the texts in it, u will see that Diesel is not only saying that Stupid has BALLS (as opposed to the Smart person), but they also say that Stupid has DREAMS (as opposed to the Smart person), Stupid is BRAVE (as opposed to the Smart person) and a whole lot more similar stuff..
Well I got news for u Diesel, that’s bullshit. Yeah, B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T in case u want me to spell it out for u..

The Stupid person has NO balls and he is NOT brave.. the fact is that simply he doesn’t understand the danger of what he is doing most of the time, and that’s why he doesn’t feel fear and does all kinds of stupid shit..

Having balls and being brave is ONLY when u are Smart enough to see the danger, but u keep going anyways.
Having balls and being brave is ONLY when u feel the fear, but u have the courage to do what u have to do.

That’s what balls are about Diesel..

And please stop capitalizing on the DREAMS notion as well..
Stupid doesn’t have Dreams.. Smart has Dreams.. because Smart understands what Dreams are.. And Dreams are things that u have to fight for, stress for, bleed for..

My biggest indication of a Smart person is the one that understands himself, understands(or tries to understand) the world around him and works hard to find his place in this world by pursuing his goals and dreams in life.
I don’t believe I have ever met a Smart person in my life that doesn’t appreciate the value of hard work, persistence and consistency.

These 3 notions are foreign to a Stupid person.

Therefore, a Stupid person doesn’t have Dreams. A Stupid person just has a whole bunch of FLEETING OBSESSIONS that come one after another and last only as long as it takes for him to realize that he actually has to sweat his ass off to achieve anything significant for his “dream”.
And when he realizes that, he usually abandons his “dream” and quickly finds another one that he thinks that will not be as demanding or tiring..

So… To sum things up…

With my first observation (the simple one), I told u guys why I believe that this campaign is insulting to the people that WILL actually buy Diesel clothes.

In my second series of observations, I am saying why this campaign is insulting to a big part of the rest of the people.. the people that REALLY are brave, REALLY have balls, REALLY have dreams..

An extremely interesting question is “Don’t the people in Diesel know these things that u are writing Ioannis??”
And I believe that the answer is.. OF COURSE THEY DO!!

I even bet u that they even agree with me on every single fuckin word I typed so far..
Why?? Because simply all of them that are behind this whole campaign thing ARE SMART, THEY ARE NOT STUPID!!

And they are just very, very, very good at FUCKING all the Stupid people of this world, while MAKING THEM FEEL HAPPY AND PROUD THAT THEY ARE BEING FUCKED!!

What I am saying, is that when Diesel is writing all over the city :

“Smart has the Brains, Stupid has the Balls..”,
they are actually thinking inside their heads :

“Smart THINKS. Stupid BUYS.”

So.. this is nothing more than another simple case of Smart people getting rich by fucking Stupid people..
Hmm.. Being Stupid doesn’t sound so attractive anymore, huh??

urban prince
Activity Score 4
p.syche's picture

first of all - I'm impressed by the size of your post! We don't see such eloquent texts very often on the internet :)

I agree with your reasoning (as you can see in my earlier posts) and I couldn't think of a better ending for your explanations than what you wrote! "Smart thinks, stupid buys" :)) they should add that to their campaign ;)

Activity Score 257
be stupid's picture

I've never bothered to comment on this site before but after reading all your comments I was compelled to actually sign up so that I could have a say. And...

Wow you people just don't get it do you.

"Be Stupid" is a brand statement. Like all good fashion advertising it embodies a philosophy that deep down all of us wish we could live by. It flies in the face of every conservative rule we have imposed on us and every rule we impose on ourselves. It's actually a great philosophy to live by. One we should all probably try to adopt more often.

I say well done Diesel.

be stupid
Activity Score 2
p.syche's picture

I don't feel like repeating everything I said, so could you just take the time and read what you're replying to before replying? You didn't manage to throw away ANY of the arguments against this campaign.

If you think "be stupid" is a great philosophy to live by... well... then their copy is very well suited for you.

Activity Score 257
urban prince's picture

Yeah dude(or dudette:) .. trying to actually read and understand what other people say before replying is a good idea.. when u tell people that they "just don't get it" without even demonstrating enough perceptional capacity yourself to understand their points(and how much they DO get it actually..) ,u don't look too good in the end

urban prince
Activity Score 4
duketheunderdog's picture

Come on guys, this is brilliant.
You DO have to be stupid to pay what Diesel asks for their sweatshop made products.
So, the more, the merrier.
It's aimed PRECISELY at the people that buy their stuff. People who don't know the difference between bravery and stupidity.
People who just don't care about anything that happens before you buy your pair of over priced jeans.

So it is brilliant. And, oh so smart!

Activity Score 39
Garbage man
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