I love the surreal feeling of the artwork. It seems the creative director on this was probably influenced by Salvador Dali. I also love that there is no actual woman in this. Most beauty ads are nothing but a glamor shot … the folks who worked on this took a risk and did something totally unconventional. Heck, it is a daring ad even for today!
In this ad, the usual central woman figure is replaced by an image of a gemstone resting on a luxurious velvet pillow with a pair of floating lips beside it. Its underlying message seems not to be as trite as sex but that of elegance and preciousness.
I think the crown and the curtains may be overkill … too many symbols going on at once only serves to obfuscate the message. However, if you read the copy, it seems the artwork is a direct illustration of the words …
A fabulous color, deepest, darkest ruby, a-flame with blue fire. Smoother than velvet … to curtain your lips with magic. Royal, rich, romantic — Precious Ruby
Nonetheless, this is a piece of very interesting and unusual advertising from the golden era of advertising … I am now on a hunt for more Gala ads … maybe there are more out there like this?