Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sexy U-boot watch ad

“Dive. Dive.”

It appears as if the standard order in submarine movies is being obeyed in this 1993 ad for U-boot watches. Shot by Helmut Newton, the ad appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald. According to UNLV marketing professor Michael LaTour and Old Dominion's John Ford, the ad created quite a stir when it ran. It’s easy to see why. A faceless man—insert your identity here—is touching the breast of his female companion.

Although this example of sex in advertising offended many readers, it’s likely that U-Boot anticipated its target audience was not the type of be turned off by this ad. The last lines of copy read: “When you see this model in the flesh, you’ll express your desire for it on sight. After all we never told you to look but not touch.” To confirm this hypothesis, professors LaTour and Ford are planning to determine if people's attitudes toward women and sexism influence responses to ads like this one. I suspect they will find a relationship.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Science of Xyience

I won’t comment on Xyience’s dietary claims, but its latest commercial is fair game. Titled “Monica,” the hot spot features a woman dancing, displaying (herself) and drinking Xenergy. Think Paris Hilton and Carl’s Jr. meet Red Bull.

Xyience’s signature product is a carb-inhibiting supplement. The drink featured the in commercial is an “energy” drink. Thus our formula: Energy (f) = Xyience drink + sexy woman + engaging in sexual behavior + while filmed with sexually enhancing video techniques.

A student emailed me the link because it bothered her. She saw the ad while watching sports with her boyfriend (hint: she wasn’t in the target audience). She’s open minded but, she said, the spot was over the top—the stripper impersonation was too “graphic” and “in your face.” The spot is visually arresting, and grabbing attention and creating buzz are intended outcomes of sexual ads.