Super Weird Ad for MAC Hello Kitty cosmetics

My colleague Rob turned me on to this one. It's weird from the get-go, but takes an even more odd turn around 2:25. Anyone know who directed? Update: I'm told this was directed by Floria Sigismondi.

MAC Hello Kitty cosmetic ad (YouTube)


  1. Cute! But I just couldn’t help but think how itchy it musta been to lie in all what looks to me lie pink fiberglass insulation.

  2. Alice follows a black cat into a vagina. So she loses her virginity to herself, I guess. Which makes her all content and well made-up.

    I love it!

  3. Love it. It’s even more fun to watch these unrealistic fantasies as the world around us goes to hell. Moar!

  4. kitty-chan, what have you done? allow people their creativity and they may just express themselves. Looked like a japanese porn video b,d,s,m creepy violent rape fantasies and unhealthy interpretation of american pop culture. I loved japan but not all things and emotional psychological state over there a little difficult for me with all the self repression(research Osaka people vs Tokyo people). wait I’m thinking about make up and psychology these are incongruent, neh?not

  5. #11, you’re close. I’d say it’s a over the rainbow, with some pink S&M Burton-esque Alice down the rabbit hole (or pink fluffy orifice, which reminded me of the tubes going down into the water leading to the Drummers from Stephenson’s Diamond Age – only not water…) tossed in for good measure.

    I know it’s the design of the b&w dress that gives her more of a girl’s shape and makes her legs look extra skinny, but my god! Someone feed that woman some bacon fat!

  6. I was walking through the mall in downtown San Fran a week or so ago and stumbled into this commercial, set up at one of the entrances to Bloomingdales. They had a DJ blasting techno and a bunch of male models dancing with the black Hello Kitty heads, and the Alice girl laying on a pink fluffy cloud, posing for photos…it was very strange.

  7. Don’t go into the vulva!!!

    Ah! The uterus is black and oily!

    Ah! Black slave cats! Racial!

    Quick someone get that girl a sammich!

  8. #14: I had the *exact* same thought about Stephenson’s Drummers.

    And I agree, that girl needs feeding up. I’ll bet they did that stoopid skirt ‘cuz she ain’t got no butt to speak of…

  9. I also want to know where I can acquire the song… it’s been stuck in my mind off and on for days. I can’t even find what it is called!

  10. i wanted to like it. the chairs were cool, and the music in that part was ok too. but once she climbed into the S&M uterus or whatever, i could swear i heard the director begging me to see how clever and strange and provocative he could be. it’s a shame, because the guys (i assume) in the HK heads were fun, and there were some other nice shots & cool stuff. meanwhile, though, the music got significantly worse with the introduction of the vocals, and in the end they resort to a totally overdone resolution: “It was all a dream… but the indelible mark on my psyche is represented by this improbable physical artifact.” lame.

  11. @22 i agree about the feel, but something seems a bit off as far as it being a lachapelle video.. plus his name would be plastered all over it already..

  12. This is not the first time that MAC has made some really weird commercials.. oh yea.. Amanda Lepore.. Naked.. Covered in pink lipstick.

  13. This ad seems is what you get when you are trying desperately to get trendy fashionistas to buy a product whose target market is people who will buy anything with kitty on it.

    No matter how many freudian Alice in wonderland commercials you make, the sales are going to be driven by the unstoppable power of cute.

  14. love it love it love it love it

    haha#11 they had me at hello, too

    twas’ very goldfrapp-ish I’m in love with a “strict machine” BDSM message, in fact was that her singing. In fact, go check out her videos as they are much like this, the strict machine live video where her dancers are wearing bondage kitty masks.

    IN FACT, after thinking about their videos I would venture a guess that the director for them and the MAC commercial are one in the same.

    BTW-Please don’t take us for fools….that was not an oh so subtly placed ad for our artistic enjoyment. Please be honest with us. Like, hey I got a lot free swag for puttin this here, but I know you guys will dig it. Which we did. I want one.

    Sincerely, Lora Lea Binaley

  15. I have to ask… will anyone give *me* money to make a cracked-out four minute commercial? because this obviously wasn’t a small-budget affair, and i just think, well, if what you want is for the final ad to have nothing to do with your product, i think i can do that for you — and probably for less! :)

  16. I’d ask whoever directed the “What You Waiting For?” video. This seems like a clone, aesthetically-speaking. And while I don’t find the tunnel any more vaginal than the one Coraline went down, the story is basically the same: girl goes down a hole, endures some trial, comes out with greater power. In this case, the video suggests that the subject has discovered her own sexuality and has initiated herself into womanhood (symbolized at the end by her possessing “grown-up” cosmetics), but only after discovering the (literally!) “darker” side of her sexuality, embodied by a black woman, wearing black, dominating guys with black faces in black clothes, against a black background.

    Hear that, girls? Vaginas are DARK and SCARY! But if you can just control yours, you’ll get to be pretty! So don’t even think about heeding the siren call of that dark, furry pussycat — she’s just itching for trouble!

  17. Equal parts ripped off Cremaster 4 (but not as goatboy-tacular), Behind the Green Door, and amalgamated Alice action. Will Hodgman disapprove if I offer a resounding “meh”?

  18. Come inside? I most certainly probably would!
    I liked the garden part up to and including her climbing into the giant pink snatch.

  19. So what is the market segment here? the underage lesbian S&M Alice fetishists?? It is somehow both too adult and too silly for either kids or grownups.

  20. Well, I feel slightly dirty after watching that …

    @bklynchris, 2 questions: Do you have any evidence to back your accusation? And do you talk to people like that in real life, or just on the internet?

  21. having gone through the weirdness of an alice in wonderland-styled photoshoot i have sympathy for how dumb this model probably felt. unfortunately, she does look dumb and awkward. this over-processed kandy kolored alice in wonderland look has been done too many times.
    still, this ad does what it is meant to do: sell expensive makeup to girls who don’t know how to apply it correctly.

  22. I am not a consumer of Hello Kitty products, or cosmetics. However, I am now in need of whatever it is they are selling.

    Damn, what a great ad. Trip-tacular.

  23. I can’t get past the idea that all of the pink fluff is fiberglass insulation. I itch reflexively just looking at it.

  24. You know, I suppose I liked it (as much as I didn’t, neutral really), but I’m entirely disappointed that it has anything to do with HK.

    I love the way people take HK and customise her, I’ve done it myself, but that’s more a community of Kitty hackers than this thing. This is basically some randommer making a very specific brand-statement about HK (tacitly endorsed), and I think it cheapens the whole HK franchise. I’m genuinely surprised HK approved it.

    It just feels like a bunch of ad-men came in and told HK corp (I know, it’s an ad for MAC) they needed to move with the times and get risqué, and used a lot of buzzwords like “synergy”.

    AFAIK, HK has never advertised.. ever. They got where they are by word-of-mouth and sheer force of volume; an amazing feat in the world of constant ad-blare we live in. If this is the first official HK ad I’m a bit let down.

    Frankly, if it wasn’t about an actual product, and was just made by someone who wanted to spin the Kitty thing, I’d have a whole lot less of a problem with it.

    That sounds like I have a lot invested in HK, but I really don’t at all, I just appreciate the purity of the brand on one hand, and the remix culture that has mashed-it-up for years, on the other. This ad is neither.

  25. Don’t know about McDonald’s restaurants in the UK, but Hello Kitty, whoever that is, has spent a fortune to promote their brand in U.S. Happy Meals for many years.

  26. Foet, I should clarify. They definitely merchandise the shit outta’ shit.. But they don’t run their own ad campaigns.

    Just looking on wikipedia shows me that Kitty has been used in a Target campaign and a Mastercard one. So it’s not as carzy a thing as I thought, but I’m still let down with the connection.

  27. As for this nugget:

    In 1999, in Hong Kong, a brutal murder known as the Hello Kitty murder took place. The popular name of the case derives from the fact that the murderer inserted his victim’s head into a Hello Kitty doll after decapitating her.


  28. I should also clarify, when I say “purity of brand” I don’t mean exclusivity or sparing use. I mean, we all understand the Kitty Brand. When you see a new version of the Kitty, or a new visioning (Kitty in a costume) you still understand the personality, the playful, fun characteristic – even if she is wearing a gimp mask or hefting two semi automaic pistols.

    Whereas in this, I’m like.. who is this? What is the vibe? This is confusing, which the HK brand never is.

    Again, I don’t have anything invested here, the MAC ad just strikes me as so random and uncharacteristic of the HK vibe.

  29. @Arkizzle

    I’m not into Hello Kitty, but I know exactly what you mean. It’s like this ad isn’t a response to the brand, it’s a response to those two words.

  30. so you guys were all getting ‘vagina’ out of this, hey? I was getting ‘colonoscopy video’. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

  31. I would wager it’s Nagi Noda that directed or had a hand in it. The chairs in the beginning are a give away. If it’s not her, then it’s clearly someone copying.

  32. This also seems to owe a lot to the Tom Petty “Don’t Come Around Here No More” video. (The video concept, not the music)

  33. So predictable, the aesthetics found laying there in all the easy clichés of this world going to ruin.

    From the very first second I was telling myself: “When is she going to stop looking so tart! Any moment now there will come a transformation.”

    At long last it never happened.

  34. about as boring and vapid as I expected… it being a fashion ad after all.
    anyone remember that dreadful Chanel ad by Baz Luhrman with Nicole Kidman?

  35. I really like this video. What puzzles me is around minute 2:00, the black model is pouring some black liquid from a “strange” bottle… This bottle is typical from Catalonia, NE of Spain. Which was widely used in the past to drink wine while eating. I enclose the link from wikipedia (sorry, the Spanish one) so you can see the bottle:ón
    (or if the above link doesn’t work due to the stress on the “o”)

    To drink from that bottle you had to lift it in the air and drink the wine that poured from the thin end. The wider end was used to fill it.

  36. #57, that link to a Nagi Noda ad was one of the best examples of Juliean Barbour’s theory of timelessness. No time, but just events that form a path. Thanks for sharing. I think I’ll forward this to him.

  37. Bklynchris @32, just to underline Antinous’ reply to you: the Boingers always acknowledge sponsorship. If they don’t mention it, it’s because it isn’t there.

    (Sudden thought: does your assumption mean that you can be bought with some sample lipliners and eyeshadow? Because if you can, I need some help with my spring garden cleanup…)

  38. I just notice that T.N-H is the Community Manager. My gosh, that’s like being a cat herder! Or a Borg Queen! I’ll work for a infrared ocular implant! Even garden clean up.

  39. Armand Van Helden rip. Same sexual overtones.
    Video not all that odd considering Japan’s obsession with the cartoon version of Alice in Wonderland and your average fashion spread these days.

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