The Ad of the Week: "Sexiness for Everyone" (Liaison Dangereuse, Germany)

Bountiful, Utah
May 10, 2011

Sex Sells (But is it worth it?)
The "Ad of the Week" theme of this week is focused on SEX, so be aware. The chosen ad for this week is from Liaison Dangereuse. Liaison Dangereuse is an Online-Lingerie-Store in Germany. Their claim is "Sexiness for everyone. Everywhere." And as the ad suggests, they really mean "everyone!"
WARNING: The ad you are about to watch shows suggestive nudity, lingerie (female underwear) and it could be offensive to some religious groups and it might be considered inappropriate for children. (I'll summarize this Ad later in case you decide not to watch the video)

Credits | Advertising Agency: Glow, Berlin, Germany | Director: Til Obladen | Aired: October 2009

If you decided not to watch the Ad here is what you need to know about it:
-Naked woman gets out of the shower while drying out with a towel. She puts some make-up on and walk on high hills to another room.
-Same woman puts a black underwear on, looks at herself at the mirror and plays with her hair.
-Then she walks towards a window while putting her burka on*.
TEXT: "Sexiness for everyone. Everywhere. Liaison Dangereuse"

*(A burka or burqa, also transliterated burkha, burka or burqua, is an enveloping outer garment worn by women in some Islamic traditions to cover their bodies in public places.)

Liaison Dangereuse sells Lingerie, which is very popular among women everywhere, but especially among the wealthy Arabic world, such as Dubai, Dakar or Saudi Arabia. This, of course, makes this market very attractive for "Liaison Dangereuse's" and "Victoria Secret's."

I think this ad is a risky-clever way to reach a market that will buy this product... Using 'sensuality' when selling women' underwear seems a little obvious, but using religion and sex together was definitely taking a risk.

You might say, You can't actually "reach" a market when you are offending them... right?"

The answer to that might be "yes, it might". It might, because it could also backfire on you. Mixing Religion and Sex was definitely risky, but I think the most memorable Ads are the ones that took risks.

Axe Deodorant's commercials are kind of the epitome of Sex in advertising.

Sex in Advertising
When we talk about sex in advertising is important for me to be objective, and try not to go religious on the topic. Though the only reason Advertising does not go literally "pornographic" on us is because of ethics and religion.

I was talking about Sex in Advertising with some colleagues, and one of them raised some interesting questions, "How do we sell sexy underwear with out going on the obvious?" "How do we sell Condoms with out being immature or obscene?" "It's 'beautiful-woman' or shirtless-dude synonymous of 'sexual'?"

Cheap Sex Advertising
Sex is still taboo in many countries so selling with sex will always be a little controversial. Because of this, some Advertisers tend to use sex as a selling tool, and more often than not they go too far and fall into what I call the Cheap Sex Advertising.

One perfect example of this was the Carl's Jr Ad with Paris Hilton. Showing a slutty Paris Hilton making out with a hamburger did create an amazing buzz, but in a negative way, or at least for Carl's Jr.

Carl's Jr. with Paris Hilton Ad made me think that Carl's Jr. tried to be cool using what Paris Hilton did to be popular: A Sex Tape. Many famous people today jumped into stardom because a sex tape that accidentally went viral. Cheap and tasteless.

Talking about sex, Arbecombie
Arbercombie&Fitch is today a well established and recognized brand from the US, popular for its some what controversial print ads that are often called homo-erotic.

On a case study about A&F published by Stanford University is assured that Arbcombie&Fitch ads would not be as controversial in most [Europe] as in the U.S.

"Because the 'naked body' so to speak, isn’t something that generally “bothers” the average [European]," the study says.

I found interesting to read about the experiment that Standford University did with A&F. They showed the brand's ads to people not familiar with the brand. Then this people were asked what they thought A&F was selling. None of them could agree on a product, and none of them even considered clothing.

So, to sum-up:
  • Sex sells, period. (No arguments on that one)
  • Using Sex in advertising is kind of a cheap shot.(if you don't use creativity and rely on it to succeed)
  • It could be the easy way out for any advertiser, but be careful, if you mess-up there is no easy way out of that mess.
  • Axe commercials are awesome.
  • Do not mix sex and food, it gets messy.
  • And... Abercombie&Fitch is kind of gay.

What do we learn from all of this?
From all of this... hum... we... learn that... hum.We learn that our body is like at temple? ...And that we should treat it like such?

If that was your answer: YES! very good...

Now, lets see examples of using sex successfully on a couple of creative and clever campaigns:

Tulipán Condoms: Uncles | Argentina

Advertising Agency: Young & Rubicam, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Creative Director: Hernan Damilano
Art Director: Carolina Aguilar
Copywriter: Federico Aubone
Photographer: Matias Posti
Published: April 2010

Tulipán Condoms: Knocked downs | Argentina

Advertising Agency: Young & Rubicam, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Creative Director: Martín Goldberg, Diego Tuya
Art Directors: Gonzalo Fernández, Matías Varise
Copywriter: Juan Galardi
Photographer: Ezequiel Pizzorno
Published: September 2010

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