Handbag got you down? Join the club.

I’ve never been a fan of depressing advertising imagery.

It makes me not want to buy the product.  Take this recent ad from Bottega Veneta. What are they trying to tell us? Is the young couple on suicide watch? Is the handbag hoping that by looking crumpled and neglected someone will take pity and buy it?  And more perplexingly, is the female model actually wearing a large bottle opener around her neck?  In attempting to decipher the story, I uncovered 3 key points of communication - none of which I suspect Bottega Veneta intended.

1.  Even models are depressed by the decline in luxury handbag sales.

2.  There are only 2 places rich people (to whom this ad ostensibly appeals) can now safely be seen with a new $10,000 handbag during the recession.  

a. The gated and electrified confines of their own homes. 

b. The gated and electrified confines of a meth house, peeling paint included.

3.  If your boyfriend is more mesmerized by your new handbag than you are (as he appears to be here) he’s your girlfriend.

What ever happened to the element of desire in fashion advertising -- that giddy-making factor that makes me (or more importantly women with deep pockets) want to leap onto the page, mug the models and flee the set with the bag? Apparently it's busy making the cash register ring in someone else’s ad.