Monday, February 02, 2009

Top Five Sexiest 2009 Super Bowl Ads

Sour economic times lead to less tolerance for gratuitous sex appeals in advertising. That’s the conjecture from some Russian sociologists. Judging from this year’s Super Bowl, I would have to agree. Compared to 2008 (see a rundown of last year’s sexiest ads), this year’s spots are much more subdued both in terms of number and explicitness of sexual ads. Overall, my team noted only two clear instances of sex in advertising (GoDaddy), two mild instances of sex in advertising (Doritos and Taco Bell), and three instances of sexual content flashed momentarily on the screen (movie and network promos).

5. Movie/Network Promos (Fast and Furious 4, Star Trek, Chuck)
What do these three promos have in common? One brief sexual scene. It wasn’t enough to qualify them individually, but we’ll lump them together because they’re promos. Two women kiss (almost) in the "Fast and Furious 4" spot, two dark figures are unmistakably entangled in the "Star Trek" promo, and a woman on all fours moves toward the camera in the "Chuck" spot. She wasn’t on screen for long but the "Chuck" promo aired at least four times. Research shows that most movie and network promos contain sexual scene even if that scene is insignificant within the program.
How does the come-on-too-strong-at-a-party theme qualify? We did mention that this is a mild example of sex in advertising. The couple is attractive and there is flirtation. But using enchiladas from Taco Bell to win her over takes the cake. The spot is lite and humorous, much like last year’s Super Bowl “Mariachi” spot for Taco Bell.

3. Doritos: "Power of the Crunch"
He crunches. Her clothes fly off. Audience sees woman in underwear. A classic example of unclothed female model used to attract attention. The man’s saving grace: It was an accident and he didn’t use his new found power on other women. Overall, a cute and memorable spot. But tough to top last year’s amateur-produced spots.

1. [tie] GoDaddy: "Baseball" and "Shower"
The domain name provider is known for its tasteless and downright bad examples of sex in Super Bowl advertising; most recently featuring Indy car driver Danica Patrick. Last year she promised to take it off. This year—in two separate spots—she takes multiple showers and talks about “enhancement.” In the “Shower” spot, a voyeuristic college male and his friends direct Danica to take showers. He even adds Ms. Schmidt, "the German woman in the Dean's office," to the Danika shower fantasy. In “Baseball,” a take on the steriod circus, GoDaddy spokeswomen testify to a Congressional committee. Danica is the first to admit that she did “enhance”--her image that is. Envious, an obviously "enhanced" female witness is about to rip open her top as proof when the commercial cuts to “Continued at”

Personally, I hate to see Ms. Patrick in these ads, but she is a visible sex symbol in a male dominated sport—with many adoring male fans who are GoDaddy’s target market. Last year’s ad drove men to the site. These ads appearently did the same.

1 comment:

Repton said...

Hi, sorry for being off-topic, but I thought you might be interested in this:

It's an ad that adorned the backs of busses here in Wellington for a couple of months recently. If you look closely, you will notice that the woman is sitting side-saddle, and not _actually_ straddling the champagne bottle. Of course, if you're a tad short-sighted like me, you might easily miss that..