There's a time and a place for sex in advertising. There are also times and places where sex in advertising are most ccertainly inappropriate and accomplish nothing but create embarrassment.
The latter was experienced by Åsk Wäppling of Adland who, along with her daughter and mother, were in a cab when this radio ad (link to story, not actual ad) for Amelia magazine began to play. Needless to say, awkward silence and red faces followed.
Of course Åsk, professional she is, didn't dwell on the more prurient aspects of the commercial, rather the plain badness of it citing terrible copy and questionable strategy. Thank God there are ad critics out there that don't obsess over sex in advertising.
There were three images that accompanied the release that prompted this story. We're going to spare you from two of them because, well, they're all hairy seventies-style and what with everyone shaving every last hair off their bodies today, seventies-style hairiness is, well, just gross.
So, for Asheville (oh wait, they're still into the seventies there, right?) hot tub retailer Willow Creek Hearth & Liesure (damn., even that word is soooo seventies), Atlanta-based BRUNNER created a campaign that's an ode to the hariy seventies and the supposed seductive qualities of the hot tub.
With headlines such as "Because you can only fit one woman in a Porsche," "Spice up your marriage with someone else's marriage," and "Lowers sperm count to the average male range (as opposed to what...a seventies porn star?)," the campaign intends to set the retailer apart from the usually mundane ads seen in the category which depict impossibly perfect, cliched family scenarios.
I Need A Reduction
- Feeling the need for a breast enlargement? Forget surgery. Just drink milk.
- One of the more convincing vote for Obama ads we've recently seen (semi NSFW)
- All kinds of pharmaceutical advertising parodies here from (mostly) Saturday Night Live.
- Tonight at 8PM, Obama will air his 30 minute commercial on NBC, CBS, FOX, Univision, MSNBC, BET and TV One. Hello? ABC? Hello?
Italian newspaper 'L'Unità', originally founded in 1924 by Marxist Antonio Gramsci as the official paper of the Italian Communist Party, has relaunched and rebranded with a new campaign created by "controversial" Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani who worked on the United Colors of Bentton campaign.
Some have labeled the ad sexist. Concita de Gregorio, first female head of the paper doesn't agree, saying, "I don't think it's right to use a woman image to sell, for example, cars. But in this case, I think it's perfect. Since two months, this newspaper is controlled by the body and the head of a woman, me, so in this case I think is pertinent to use a woman's image."
Hmm. Interesting logic indeed tying the mini skirted body of the woman in the ad to her position as "head" of the paper.
"Go all in - but play it safe" so says the copy on Ladbrokes-branded condom packaging. Ladbrokes is a Swedish gambling company which decided to hand out condoms as a promotional item. Another version of the packaging reads, "Don't play with fire - Play with us!"
Ladbrokes' Andreas Gillberg explained the thinking behid the promotion, saying, "We came to think about the fact that condoms - just like Ladbrokes - is all about safe transactions. Just like our games, it's about excitement and safety at the same time".
Interesting. So sex is just a "transaction" in Sweden? Hey, we're all for casual sex but we like to think of it as a bit more meaningful than a poker bet.
From 11.17.06. Apparently those living in Denmark have a care free attitude about a lot of things including speeding so the Danish Road Safety Council thought it was time for a different approach to enforce speed limits. The country now has Speed Control Bikini Bandits. Yes. It's exactly what it sounds like except the Bandits seem to have forgotten to wear their bikini tops when holding speed limit signs and urging drivers to obey the limits. Have fun with this witty campaign approach to speed control but if your boss doesn't like you watching naked women holding speed limit signs while shaking their boobs, you might want to properly angle your monitor before viewing.
To promote the Li Yue Long Men Young Creatives Competition, BBDO/Shanghai is using this :45 video to spread the weirdest rumour: that all its female staff members are D-cups.
Finding three young D-cups in all of Asia is a feat, which alone made the video worth watching. I also like the effect the cheesy music had on this slow exploration of the Shanghai office. It made all that leering look less ... leery.
Having worked in the segment for quite some time, I can attest to the boredom of working on business to business ad campaigns. There's only so much speed and feed bullshit you can take before your head explodes...or you go out and hire a big breasted floozy, a dude in a tuxedo and layer on an endless supply of metaphors and double entendres.
Just what is up with America and its refusal to accept the fact sex is natural and people do it all the time? Why do we shun it in movies and advertising while we gleefully glamorize and applaud violence and rampant stupidity?
Video games. Michael Bay movies. The Saw series of movies. All celebrate violence for the purposes of making money. And people love it. And spend billions on it. And rarely complain about it but sex...oh no. God forbid people actually celebrate the natural, biological joy of sex without coming off as some sort of perv trying to terrorize and sully the minds of poor little children.
Belgian born Peter Forret, who recently took a trip to Bulgaria, noticed an ad campaign for Mastika, an aphrodisiac used as an ingredient in mixed drinks or in the yogurt drink Ayran. He remarked the standard of advertising in Bulgaria appears to be far different than that of his home country, Belgium.
The print campaign employs visuals of scantily clad women foisting their curvaceous features towards the viewer. A commercial has two guys ogling a girl who passes them by on the beach and casts a shadow on the sand suggesting a figure of, shall we say, larger than normal proportions. Sadly, the commercial employs the tired, much over used male arousal tactic.