The Hottest Ads of 2008, Revisited


Once again, it's time to look back and review 2008, Adrants-style: with the hottest, sexiest and raciest ads of 2008. If you've fallen behind the times, check out our 2007 round-up. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy.

Sometimes an ad comes right out and says what everyone's thinking, a method that can be nearly as refreshing as, oh ... an alcoholic energy drink. At least that's the case with this billboard in Denmark for Cult Shaker. Mincing no words, it asked passersby to fornicate with the naked girl featured at left. Are we off to a good start yet?


Combining the well-documented fact that eyes tend to wander down paths made by pulchritudinous cleavage, and the notion a fast camera is paramount to lending permanence to the moment, Olympus presents us with an ad that perfectly captures this deft eyeball dance.


And what would a cattle call of the year's hottest ads be without the famed Why every guy should buy their girlfriend a Wii Fit video starring Lauren, the gorgeous girlfriend of Tinsley Advertising Director-Marketing Giovanny Gutierrez, who made the video as a spec viral?

With 7,634,988 views, the hypothesis is proved once again: amateurishly shot + hot chick + controversy = viral hit.


Pushing the limits to our perception that a woman isn't nude if her nipples are covered, Mia Lingerie launched a campaign featuring nippleless models. No, not models covering their nipples; models with their nipples digitally removed.

The ad was for Mia's line of seamless lingerie, so removing the speedbumps seemed like a fitting creative strategy. The full image is here.


And what would this list be without British hottie Keeley Hazell? She lent her alarming good looks and stunning figure to Lynx, which had the model pose with chocolate statues in front of London's Tower Bridge.

Chocolate's connection to body spray is unclear, but that's of no consequence. This is a pictorial review of sexy ads, not an analysis of their effectiveness. (Really, though: in ad land, when does effectiveness ever come into play?!)

Speaking of relevance, get a load of what comes next.


Hot guys, hot girls, bikinis and ripped abs. Music and dancing. Slow-motion camera pans. Topping off the debauchery, a vanilla ice cream cone drips down a woman's body as it's slowly given tongue -- followed by ... a global warming message.

Say what? Well, it certainly beats those dire, apocalyptic greenwashing ads.


Every guy wants a handcrafted wooden gift for Valentine's Day. And while this Anne Summers commercial serves that up, it also wink-winks you into another kind of wood -- with its endless collection of cover-nothing lingerie.

Hand crafted wood. What's not to love?


Next up, VH1 Charm School participant Saaphyri was gratuitously front and center in a video promoting her line of lip gloss, imaginatively called LipChap.

Saaphyri slithers and coos as the camera eye ensures every inch of her is admired with the intensity of a 14-year-old boy staring at (or is it through?) his unwitting date's tulle prom dress.


Of the debut video on American Apparel's YouTube channel, we wrote, "Now, aside from all those racy images over which everyone obsesses, we can all now obsess over booty in motion thanks to impossibly hot American Apparel model Kristen who tantalizingly wags her ass in our face while wearing polka dot panties. WTF? Is this supposed to sell clothes or become the next masturbatory fixation for teenage boys?" Enough said.


Representing the sexy AND the weird was this faux Paris Hilton-esque sex tape spoof for UK MTV One's Fur TV. Who saw that happy ending coming?


There's no shortage of alcohol marketers that employ tactical titillation to sell a liter or two, but few do it with the elegance and seductiveness Cabana Cachaca achieved in this print campaign.

Just a bottle and a babe. That's all this Brazilian (natch) brand needed to make its point.


Ladies, when a bartender peers into your eyes while thrusting a large, stiff brush deep inside a glass, do you A) reach for the doggy bag, or B) order a Flirt Vodka? In this case, Flirt hopes you aim for the latter.


Watching this SlinkyFox video will toy with your emotions. First you'll be wowed by Landie, a girl-next-door hottie who looks like she's getting ready to shoot a porn video. Then you'll be skeeved by the sliminess of the director, who intones cheesy, increasingly creepy questions at Landie.

Oddly, you might even marvel at Landie's acting abilities as she reacts to the director's pointed questions. But you will most definitely experience surprise when you find out what the whole thing is for.


Some marketers love to test the limits of what's acceptable and tactics vary widely from country to country. But it's a safe bet to assume actual porn is something we're not likely to see very often in advertising. In any country.

Unless the marketer is Diesel.

Though to be fair, Diesel held back juuuuuust enough with SFW XXX Dirty 30, a video celebrating its 30th anniversary, in which the naughtier bits of actual porn footage were cartoonishly censored.


When Levi's unleashed its beast in the form of Unbutton Your Beast, reactions were mixed. Some thought it represented a has-been brand grasping for a lifeline. Others felt it played perfectly to the target audience's sense of humor. Either way, creepiness ensued once the Levi's were unbuttoned.


Moving on, this (sexist?) recruitment ad from BBDO Shanghai promoted the Li Yue Men Young Creatives Competition by informing us the women who work in the agency are all D-cups.


Marking its second entry in our hallowed list, American Apparel debuted a set of online banners featuring women with fully exposed breasts (non-nude link) and nothing but a hand covering their nether regions. Perhaps because American Apparel has pushed this envelope to its limit, reaction to the campaign was fairly muted.

On its blog, American Apparel wrote, "We know people like to talk about our ads. More often, it's tongues clucking and fingers wagging in disapproval but this time, we seem to have some blogs taking to our defense about our first nude ads for the web." Whatev.


Wrapping up the Hottest Ads of 2008 is one we haven't covered. Unleashed in December, the infamous Danish Skydiver ad (NSFW) for Fleggaard depicts hundreds of naked ladies plummeting from a plane to spell out "Siemens Vaskemaskine. Kun 4,999" -- promoting a Siemens washing machine. It's so over the top. So self-absorbed. So goofy. So "you'd-never-see-this-in-America." A fitting conclusion to '08.


This wraps up the sexiest/hottest/raciest ads of 2008. Having shared that, it'd be unfair to not to yield an honest take on the matter. In an interview with Violet Blue for her San Francisco Chronicle sex column, I said, "Initially sexual imagery can 'sell' - when it comes to attracting attention to an ad. After all, humans are innately programmed to respond to titillating imagery and the possibility of sex. It's just in our DNA. So it's natural for marketers to use this attraction and for people to respond.

"But it can be a lame cop-out used by marketers who lack imagination to create more compelling work that will sustain itself beyond the initial titillation. Despite studies minimizing its benefits, sex will continue to be used in advertising because it's a quick and easy solution which doesn't require much thought and can garner the immediate attention some marketers need for their promotional efforts. "

Which is, let's face it, a very good thing. Otherwise, there'd be no no content for the Hottest Ads of 2009.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 5-09   Click to Comment   
Topic: Opinion, Racy   

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Great list! Not that we were watching those in the office today instead of working. Should we expect more ads like that in 2010 because, even in a recession, sex sells right?

Posted by: Expedite Media Group on January 5, 2009 2:59 PM