Archive | sex sells

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Profanity in Advertising — What the @#$! do we care?

Profanity in advertising—is it REALLY needed in order to stand out in the all the marketing clutter? Are we becoming immune to it? A recent article on Talentzoo puts it this way: …times change, and we’re slowly breaking down our cultural norms and resistance to expletives. Consider the following ads: For as long as I can […]

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Hey Abercrombie, take your apology and suck it.

Oh, Abercrombie. You continue to steal the headlines with your chiseled shirtless teenagers gracing the cover of your shopping bags, scandalous advertisements, and beautiful hand-selected employees. And thanks to Business Insider for bringing CEO Mike Jefferies’ 2006 comments back to life, Abercrombie is once again in our headlines. In case you missed it, in 2006 Jeffries made […]

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Role Reversal: Perceptions of Men and Women in Advertising

Check out this eye-opening video put together by a Women and Gender Studies class at the University of Saskatchewan by Sarah Zelinski, Kayla Hatzel and Dylan Lambi-Raine. They wanted to show how ridiculous media portrays gender roles and stereotypes in advertising through presenting gender roll reversals. As depicted in the video, our parents went through their […]

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Holy Shift: Creepy George will “Fix your transmission”

Oh, this ad for Arlen Transmission is so bad in so many ways – but like a car accident, I can’t take my eyes off it. It’s got the tackiness and female objectification of the Beacon Plumbing’s ‘fix my pipes’ lady: . . . with a little touch of the classic Vern Fonk “Shipoopi” – […]

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Dove Real Beauty Sketches: Responsible Marketing, I think.

If you haven’t already seen this “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” clip that everyone is posting on Facebook, take a gander: Dove once again pulls through in this touching video about how women view themselves in such poor light compared to how others see them. It is sad how women are especially critical of every mole, […]

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Does sex sell cause-related marketing?

Do you remember this ad? It’s part of PETA’s anti-fur campaign. Though the use of nude celebrities may arouse cynicism, the use of provocative imagery and ardent copy make for a bold message. Ad copy: “Animals killed for their fur are electrocuted, drowned, beaten and often skinned alive. Be comfortable in your own skin, and […]

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Marketing lingerie to tweens: Responsible or not?

Au Revoir Fruit of the Loom. Your plain cotton briefs and boring training bras are of the past. Welcome to a new generation of tween and teen undergarments. Sorry, faux pas. I meant to say, lingerie. Yes, lingerie geared towards teens and tweens is on your store shelves. It’s a $1.5 billion a year and […]

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Tums Corn Dog Carnie ad

Tums commercials gone wrong

In commercials, funny is money. So is sex. So when combined, sexually suggestive, funny commercials are usually bank. And the more sophomoric the humor, the more I usually like them. But these new spots for Tums antacid are just wrong — specifically these three: Inappropriately suggestive is funny when it makes sense, and is relevant […]

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Sex Sells: Just Ask Him.

In advertising, it’s the gospel truth: Sex sells. You’ve heard it a million times. So many times it’s gotta be true, right? Hell, even the Devil himself says it’s true in our second of seven Responsible Marketing web shorts, here: View on YouTube in HD Why not believe it? You just heard it from the […]

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Is Burger King’s “Square Butts” ad responsible?

Last night, a friend from high school sent me this question via Facebook: Can you explain why ANYONE (let alone Burger King) would think it a good idea to adapt “I like Big Butts” to market a children’s meal? Here’s the ad in question: Extended version This is one of the classic Responsible Marketing questions […]

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Bite-sized Friday: The Virgin Edition

No, this isn’t the first Bite-sized Friday—just the first one since October. Bite-sized Fridays are essentially mini-posts, thematically linked. And away we go: Virgin Atlantic 25th anniversary ad Virgin Atlantic’s 25th Anniversary ad, 25 Years, Still Red Hot has been getting a lot of attention lately, but positive and negative. Some think it’s sexist, others […]

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10 of my favorite lists from 2008

Happy New Year! I know. I’ve ranted about lists before, but to start off 2009, one of my resolutions is to lighten up (a little) about lists. Here’s a list of 10 of my favorite lists from last year, in no particular order: The 10 most admired companies of 2008 Fortune Magazine 50 ideas on […]

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Responsible or not? Shockvertising

Trendhunter did my homework for me today and compiled a four minute collection of shocking ads that will leave you asking the question, “How far is too far?” You won’t want to view this in front of small children or your boss. It features fake lesbians, phony murder scenes, employees getting punched in the face […]

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Is PETA’s use of nudity going too far?

Whether you support their cause or not, it’s impossible to ignore PETA. Their undercover investigations and campaigns are orchestrated across all media—advertising, PR, events, and social media are all a part of the mix—and most are integrated quite well. The way they get attention is always controversial, and they’ve taken on some of the titans […]

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Responsible or not? Biker Babe Marketing

As marketers, we’re always looking for creative ways to break through. Biker Babe Marketing is doing just that by putting babes on Harleys, then having them drive around with their client’s ads on signs attached to their bikes. Hey, sex sells and this surely has people talking. But since the medium is the message, it’s […]

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OMFG: Responsible or not?

For the uninitiated: OMG = “Oh my God.” OMFG = The same, plus a strategically placed F-bomb. First time I saw these ads, I wanted to write about it here, but I couldn’t seem to find the CW’s justification for taking “OMG,”—a phrase that already puts some people on edge—and plusing it with the “F” […]

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Is MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation going too far?

I am one of the few people that saw the very first video on MTV, “Video Killed the Radio Star.” I loved the channel, and I’d watch Mark Goodman and Nena Blackwood for hours on end. I’m still a big music fan (I love, but I have to admit, I stopped watching MTV when […]

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Responsible or not? Unilever

I’ve mentioned Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty that encourages self esteem for young girls. It’s smart, it zags when everyone else is zigging, and as the father of young daughter it makes me want to stand up and cheer. But of course, Responsible Marketing is never black and white. Dove’s parent company, Unilever, has been […]

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“You’re not good enough.” Now, sign here.

Sad, but true. So much of marketing is about creating fear, uncertainty and doubt (or F.U.D.). Why? Because it often works. Do we have to make our customers feel like they aren’t good enough? It seem like an impossible task, doesn’t it? Our role as marketers is to find needs and fill ’em. To do […]

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Responsible or not? Using sex to sell recyling

Eko-Kom wants to encourage recycling. And sex sells. So why not use sex to sell recycling? Nothing indecent here, but the sexual overtones aren’t muted, either. So what do you think? Responsible Marketing or not? Comment below to weigh in. . . . Inspiration for this post came from @adrants on Twitter

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