Car Brands Still Using Sex to Sell


The car industry has sometimes been accused of using sexually provocative ads to sell cars and there are plenty of recent examples that support that accusation. And, recently, many companies have been turning to a more tongue in cheek approach.

Many decades ago there were a number of overtly sexist ads from car manufacturers which made frequent references towards the fact that women were unsafe drivers. Examples include the ad below from Goodyear.

Some manufacturer's continue to create controversial ads such as this print advert from BMW below, which compare a woman to a used car.


Another recent example is from Australia for the Toyota Yaris which, though hilarious, was unsurprisingly banned very quickly.

In 2010, to promote the new Nissan Juke, Nissan chose to create a series of ads which compared the car model to a supermodel. The campaign was called Model vs Model and included comparing which had the most "curb appeal." Complaints were numerous but it also got a lot of positive attention online.

Ads involving provocative imagery are commonly for cars aimed at men. There aren't many examples of girls in bikinis used to sell mini-vans. It's usually sports cars and 4x4s that use the most sexual imagery as with this Nissan Pathfinder ad.

Certain car manufacturers take a tongue and cheek approach to the sex sells angle. One example is Subaru's "Sexy comes standard" TV ad which replaced scantily clad supermodels with scantily clad sumo wrestlers.

The release of Subaru's commercial was no coincidence.Two of the brand's biggest rivals, Lexus and Nissan, had just created ads with Sports Illustrated models to promote the launch of the Swimsuit Edition.

Volvo has also been mocking their competitors by spoofing the often over-used sexy car ad plot. Their commercial is simply called "How to make a sexy car ad."

This guest post is written by James Hind, editor of carbuzz, a UK site that helps people choose which new car to buy.

by Steve Hall    Nov-30-11   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands