Dakota Fanning for “Oh, Lola!”

Posted on June 11, 2011

Apparently this is the week where we wag our fingers at the Fanning sisters like stern gay uncles and lecture them on the dangers of the sexting and the Facespace and internet predators because we saw it on Dateline.

Dakota is the new … um… face of Marc Jacobs’ “Oh, Lola!” fragrance and here she is, shot the only way you can shoot Dakota Fanning for a Marc Jacobs fragrance called “Oh, Lola!” In fact, delaying the appropriateness discussion for a second, what bothers us most about this ad is that it’s such a cliche. The pale pinks, the washed out Polaroid feel (which is cultural shorthand for “kiddy porn”), the baby girl dress, and of course, the big honking perfume bottle resting on her crotch. The most damning thing we can say about this ad is that it’s lame.

Marc? Would you like to add anything?

“When we were speaking about who to use in the Oh, Lola fragrance ads — I had recently seen ‘The Runaways.’ Dakota was in it, and I know she could be this contemporary Lolita, seductive yet sweet.”

Yeah, okay. Shrug. We think the image fails in some respects because we don’t think there’s anything particularly shocking about it. Dakota’s 17, and given her time in the industry as well as her level of success, she’s likely to be one of the most mature 17 year olds you’d ever meet. We found baby sister Elle’s “Pretty Baby” picture to be less appropriate than this because, unlike normal teenagers sending racy phone pics to each other, these are professional modeling shoots with staffs of adults making the decisions. Dakota is an adult now; Elle isn’t. To us, that makes a difference.

But we have to reiterate that neither photoshoot had us boiling with outrage. With Elle it was more, “Well, that’s kind of icky,” and with Dakota here, it’s more, “Oh. THIS again.”

[Photo Credit: wwd.com, thefashionspot.com]

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  • http://twitter.com/kimsylvi SEK

    Here’s the thing. This is an ad campaign for a women’s perfume. Who’s going to want that perfume? That photo–gives me the heebie jeebies.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I can’t imagine many grown woman looking at that ad and thinking “Hey, I totally want to smell like an exploited oversexed kid!”

      Just gross.

      • http://vhanna26.typepad.com Vera

        Agreed, but perhaps he’s not marketing to grown women, but to teens. Icky.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly, and she’s 17, so, no, not quite an “adult” yet…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OQAEI5VIBLXN6YAONCDMUQVRBI Sydney Rose

    To me it looks like an ad for a horror movie.

    The Bride of Norman Bates?

  • Anonymous

    Gotta agree with SEK.  Not a good selling photo.  Oh, look, she has a perfume bottle shaped like a flower vase in a place where flower vases do not generally reside.  I wouldn’t find it an attractive image on an adult spokesperson.  On a kid?  Well… really?  Is that meant to give any feeling other than general heebie-jeebies?

  • http://twitter.com/Merneith Merneith

    Yeah … let’s just say the photo sends a really icky message about what that perfume might smell like. Naming it so that it makes us think of Lolita just ups the ick factor.

  • http://twitter.com/Merneith Merneith

    Yeah … let’s just say the photo sends a really icky message about what that perfume might smell like. Naming it so that it makes us think of Lolita just ups the ick factor.

  • http://twitter.com/Merneith Merneith

    Yeah … let’s just say the photo sends a really icky message about what that perfume might smell like. Naming it so that it makes us think of Lolita just ups the ick factor.

  • http://twitter.com/aidanboleyn Aidan B

    Oh no…Oh dear. Did they really have to have her rest the bottle there? Really? Ugh, just no.

    • Anonymous

      For real, its just tacky.

  • http://twitter.com/aidanboleyn Aidan B

    Oh no…Oh dear. Did they really have to have her rest the bottle there? Really? Ugh, just no.

  • http://twitter.com/wednesdaydreams Natalie

    It’s a very boring picture, and nothing about her makes me want anything. The dress seems cute though. Compared to the Vera Wang ‘Lovestruck’ campaign, where Leighton had hair and a dress to die for, this definitely pales in comparison. 

  • MilaXX

    *yawn* whatever

    Just when I was getting interested in Marc Jacobs because of his new makeup collection.

  • Anonymous

    At least now she looks old enough to be in on the joke.

    • Anonymous


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diana-Larkin/596362410 Diana Larkin

    I`m worried I only have 7 days to live after seeing this photo.

  • Anonymous

    God, I wish every photographer/designed who wanted to do some kind of ‘seductive’ Lolita reference would actually read the book first.

    • Anonymous

      Lolita or L-O-L-A Lola? After all, that bottle seems to be gracing her with an appendage of sorts.

    • http://profiles.google.com/galalefey Gabriella Ripoll

      Right? Though they might still not be sophisticated enough to understand the concept of an unreliable narrator. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m just going to dismiss the ad itself and say that she looks really pretty. 

  • http://visceralresponse.com Dina dV

    Well, this is a man who thought the best way to advertise his mens cologne was to call it BANG (subtle), strip naked, grease himself up to comically Zoolander proportions and then put a giant mirror over his crotch.

    This is downright tasteful.

    • Sara__B

       Agreed. What did we expect from the man who brought us the BANG cologne campaign?

    • Anonymous

      Yikes. Did you have to remind me of that ad?

  • evahansman

    Oh the irony of a perfume for “women” where the campaign features a 17 year old and is designed to appeal to pervy men.  Good luck with that Marc! 

  • Anonymous

    I don’t mind the Polaroid-y look or the styling, but (like you said) the position of the bottle makes it a nope – and a bored nope at that. It kind-of reminds me of that Calvin Klein campaign of at least 10 years ago where all these teens looked like they were shot in a tacky suburban basement.

    But the thing that makes it all the most wrong-headed is, they seem to think that just giving it a pink tone will appeal to the target market – but I think they’re wrong on that.–GothamTomato

  • Anonymous

    I like the dress she is wearing. But the pictures are super cliche. Not shocking or original , even 20 years ago when Madonna did some similar ones for Vanity Fair. Seems like Marc is stuck on the idea of posing with sent bottle between the legs of the model.
    He should use a tag line from Aleister Crowley’s Blood Lotus, now that would be shocking.

    • Lisa


  • Anonymous

    Maybe it’s supposed to be channeling Lola Lola, who was the character played by Dietrich in “The Blue Angel”?

    No, I take it back.  If that were the intent she’d be wearing a top hat and tails.  This is clearly meant to evoke the iconic photo of Sue Lyon from “Lolita”.  Imitation/flattery aside, it’s just not that interesting.  Maybe they try to appeal to men because someone out there still thinks men are the ones buying perfume for their women?  Anyway, I bet it doesn’t jump start sales for this scent, no matter how good or bad it smells.

  • taodon

    Marc Jacobs being cliché, passé, and a boringé?  Quelle surprise!

  • Anonymous

    While she has reached the age of consent in about 38 of the 50 United States, I’m not sure a 17 year old is truly an “adult.” 

  • http://profiles.google.com/galalefey Gabriella Ripoll

    Very reminiscent of Virgin Suicides. But also just very yawn inducing. Meh. 

    • Anonymous

      Yes, thank you! God Marc, if you’re gonna reference Lolita, at least do it right and add the heart sunglasses. I actually would’ve liked it more had he mentioned VS instead, because that makes a lot more sense with her 70’s style lighting, hair, dress, and flat facial expression (this one from the movie).
      Very boring though.

  • Anonymous

    The crime is there’s no energy here. And I don’t mean sexual energy. An ad needs to be compelling — have an energy of its own that compels you to look, look, and look again, and want something. And this just falls flat. Maybe all the energy went into making an ad so contrived nothing else about it or associated with it could breathe?

  • Anonymous

    I was always impressed the way her family managed her career and thought that her mother and grandmother were super vigilant about making sure she didn’t wind up in films, ads, etc. like this. It’s not the worst ad in the world, but it certainly is suggestive and a bit tacky.

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      Eventually, she was going to be doing things that were suggestive — particularly because she was a child actress.  If she wants to be seen as anything but “the little girl in_____” she’s going to do things that are more adult.

      Though this is just so damn boring! 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T53WBEPGJZ7MMMZC4O563YU5HA Observer

    Is it a perfume ad or one for a feminine hygine product?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1248212910 Jessie Melcher Brown

    When I was a young teen we all wore “love’s baby soft” which smelled like flowers and baby powder.  There was also a Love’s fresh lemon that smelled like lemonade.  There advertising was something like innocense is attractive.

    This reminds me of that.  At 46 do I want to smell like a 13 year old?  H-E-L-L N-O-!

    • http://vhanna26.typepad.com Vera

      I so remember “Love’s Baby Soft.”

    • Anonymous

      I loved Love’s Fresh Lemon!! Do they still sell that? And there was some Musk perfume everyone wore.

  • Anonymous

    It looks like creepy Terry Richardson took the photographs.

  • Anonymous

    Ew. I would never wanna smell like that picture.

  • Anonymous

    eewwww gross.

  • Anonymous

    This looks tacky and silly to me. This certainly doesn’t make the perfume appealing in any way. But then Mr. Jacob’s “BANG” campaign was ridiculous too.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not even a good picture. And, yes, I realize it’s supposed to look like old Humbert Humbert took it for his private collection. It’s still bad photography.

  • Anonymous

    Lame indeed.  It’s such a “Oh! Aren’t we being edgy”” cliche.  I expect better from marc jacobs.  Wait, not really.  He has been lame for a while.

  • Anonymous

    As a mother of teenagers this creeps me out and I also think Marc Jacobs has a very adolescent idea of what it is to be daring or funny or provocative.

  • Anonymous

    Not only is this inappropriate, it is just plain lazy. Let’s run down our checklist here: Young woman: check; infantilizing clothing: check; product drawing attention to crotch: check; porn-y polaroid exposure: check. “Yay! All buttons pushed! Let’s go for our 3-Cosmo lunch!”

    • Anonymous

      Well, shit. I wrote my comment without reading T Lo’s comments… I guess we agree!! In my defense,I had already viewed and commented on this on their FB page.

  • sonictofu

    I’m glad I haven’t lost the capacity to be horrified by this sort of thing.

  • Anonymous

    So…this perfume smells like Dakota Fanning’s crotch?  Or her crotch smells like flowers?  This with the enhanced color of the “flower” in the actual ad?  The imagery is disturbing.

  • margaret meyers

    This ad is such a mess. Everyone involved is showing such bad judgement. 

    The imagery is only a little compelling, but it’s a LOT vulgar and poorly thought-out.  Are pedophiles buying their sweeties expensive perfume now, or ist it an adolescent wish fulfilment for young women to have a Sugar Daddy?  Those are the only two markets they can be shooting for because I do not see a grown woman being persuaded by this ad.

  • Jeremy Maz

    Here’s the thing… I see where everyone is getting the whole “weirded out by the picture” deal.  On the contrary, Marc Jacobs ads have had the same Iconic look for a long time.  The PHotographer Juergen Teller has actually been taking photographs like this even way before Marc Jacobs became a notable brand.  The ad is no longer about you wanting to wear the perfume simply because you saw the ad, they want you to know it’s Marc Jacobs and therefore go and buy the perfume simply because it’s Marc Jacobs (if that makes any sense).  Ad campaigns take on a whole new meaning when you’ve already established your brand as Marc has.  The images are the “Marc Jacobs” look.  That’s all.

  • http://twitter.com/starrika Ali

    Dakota looks completely bored with this editorial. It’s not even sultry, her face is more like “Not this dreck again.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=677547537 John Hodgins

    “Fat” Monica on Friends always was talking about giving away her “flower.”  Now I know what she was saying.  :-)

  • http://summerborn.livejournal.com/ Summer Born

    Geez, you’re totally right – it’s not even *shocking*. WTF, Marc Jacobs?

  • Susan Foster

    If the bottle was not between her legs, it definitely would have been better.  Not good – just better. Mostly because having the bottle there is plain stupid.  Who would put a huge bottle there?  C’mon.

  • Patricia Biswanger

    The ad is pitched to teenagers, few of whom can afford the product.  Go figure.

  • Anonymous

    This is seriously the worst ad i’ve ever seen. Totally tastless. I would like to know who approved it, with what criteria? In his or hers oppinion, what in this image is going to make any woman want to buy, or just try this product?
    I don’t know much about market strategies, but that doesn’t look like a very clever one- to say the least… mah…

  • http://pissiechrissie.tumblr.com/ Chrissie

    I really like the dress she is wearing. 
    Also I was under the impression that Dakota has been a spokesmodel for MJ for awhile now. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-y0kk6e2AAXE/TZBv_fivVPI/AAAAAAAABFg/jJvyJL6eSec/s1600/dakota-fanning-in-mj-ads.jpg 

  • Anonymous

    My problem is that its ugly and awkward all around. The kiddie porn look is there, but it’s not the worst part. It’s more that it looks like nobody bothered to compose the image at all, just plunked a clumsy girl in a dress on the floor and tossed a big bottle at her. Like, snap it already, I have to be somewhere. I have some Lola, by the way, that looks like that and is old. So is “Oh, Lola!” different from “Lola,” and if so, why didn’t they change the bottle, which was already hiddy with that plastic flower on the top? I immediately tossed the big plastic flower off the bottle. Oh, and I’m ancient and totally not the sort of person who would respond to this ad. Maybe that’s why they did this, to scare off old, uncool people like me so the kids would go near their Lola again.

  • Anonymous

    Ack. And with this, I have offically reached Fanning saturation for the weekend and possibly for the rest of my life. 

  • Lies L.

    I agree – I really don’t think it’s all that shocking (the girl is 17 and pretty much an adult, only she looks – perhaps – a little younger), but it’s a massive cliché and just kinda dull. 

  • Elizabeth Denton

    She’s so PRETTY, why didn’t they dirty her up and make her a little quirky and funny? Just a lame ad. 

  • Anonymous

    I cannot stand Juergen Teller’s work.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with everyone else. Who’s the market here? Under 18 year old girls who think this is cool and like to pretend they’re older?

  • Mary McClelland

    This is just so desperate seeming on Marc’s behalf. Desperate, pathetic, and skeevy Terri Richardson.  And the worst part is that Dakota is so pretty and takes such great photographs – it’s a TOTAL waste of her talent and her face. 

    This is partially biased because I have always despised Marc Jacobs, found him COMPLETELY over-rated and really not certain why everyone views him as some sort of fashion genius.  /end rant.

  • Anonymous

    Well, it could have been worse. Lots of products are marketed with images I find no more appealing and no less appropriate.  There are several retail clothing chains, popular with the young, whose marketing is usually worse. I try not to shop/buy if the advertising is icky or sleazy, but at the best of times I don’t spend enough money to make any retailer care if I decline to patronize them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Juline-Débaul/100002426617563 Juline Débaul

    Wow, this ad is simply awful. How I hate that washed-out Polaroid feel! Kiddy porn? That is gold!

    And I don’t know about your argument about Elle being not an adult and Dakota being so. In my mind, Dakota is not really one, even if she technically is one in real life, and when it comes to ads, isn’t what she is in our minds more important?

  • http://www.joannao.blogspot.com JoannaOC

    Yuck. The hyper-extended elbow and “sanpaku eyes” (whites below the iris) add to the broken doll cliche. Yes, if this photo was not taken by Terry Richardson, it’s definitely a Richardson wannabe. Automatic puke factor.

  • Anonymous

    All his perfumes have always smelled like crap to me in the past, and I guess he has to resort to shocking things like this to entice people and make them curious enough about it. This is the only gigantic flower that has ever made me want to run in the other direction away from the stench. 
    As for the picture, like somebody posted above, it’s more Virgin Suicides than Lolita and it’s kind of boring (and almost expected of him) to go this route. Still icky though.

  • Anonymous

    I also will always associate this perfume with being on a smelly crotch. Double yeech!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NMIFZ6A7BHP66M546AO77BWVQ4 Bonnie

    I just find it rather trite and tired. Is Marc running out of ideas?

  • http://twitter.com/MarieanneDH MarieanneDH

    UGH.  Just awful.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t mind it if she didn’t have the flower-shaped bottle resting on her flower. It’s more than a little stupid. She’s very pretty, though, and I do love the dress on her.  

  • shorty j

    seriously? it looks like she took those photos herself with a cell phone, especially the first one. 

    edit: and by “the first one” I mean the one where she’s holding the bottle up to her face instead of up to her junk. For some reason in my RSS feed they showed up in a linear fashion.

  • http://twitter.com/wrenaria Kimmy Hescock

    Love the dress. Hate the ad.