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.

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