If there’s one thing we’ve come to expect from Lady Gaga videos — apart from flame-shooting metal bustiers and sunglasses made of cigarettes — it’s product placement. “Paparazzi” touted Chanel. “Bad Romance” featured Monster Headphones, Nemiroff Vodka, and HP’s Envy 15 Beats Limited Edition laptop. And “Telephone,” the most egregious example yet, hawked everything from Wonder Bread to Miracle Whip to dating Web site PlentyOfFish.com.
Indeed, as Gabe McDonough, an exec at the ad agency DDB, told Fast Company earlier this month, the references “actually help Gaga’s artistic statement. Not having them would be like making a movie about hockey and not having ads on the boards.”
That said, what’s up with “Alejandro”? Like most Gaga videos, the nine-minute clip–released earlier this morning–is chock-full of eye-popping costumes and quasi-religious symbolism. (See: Gaga, clad in something resembling clergy gear, throwing herself into a pile of half-naked dancers.) But in this case, the only thing she’s trying to sell us is a message about her “love and appreciation for the gay community.” The subject matter is no joke to Gaga, and making a deliberate choice to exclude product placement only serves to strengthen the video’s message.
Judge for yourself, below: