In Sexy Advertising
Could the following two stories compliment each other any better?
While I acknowledge it's a P.R stunt in and of itself, it would be interesting to conduct some research determining whether such advertising could be effective.
In a week when Renault’s Va Va Voom viral advert has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority after a complaint that it objectified women, we’ve been treated to a completely contrasting cultural outlook from Japan, where women are being paid to advertise on their bare legs.
The Renault ad features an experiential marketing stunt in which men are taken to test drive a new Renault and at a zebra crossing, every mainstay from the book of French cliché’s appears before buxom young women in lingerie come bouncing out to dance in front of the windscreen. Whilst I would agree with the ASA that there’s more than a tincture of sexism and objectification here, I certainly don’t think it’s the worse example I’ve seen, or probably will before the end of the day sadly. Especially if I watch MTV tonight and Robin Thicke is anywhere near the playlist! I also happen to like the general experiential idea for the stunt.
Given the ruling on Renault's titillating ad (sorry), I wonder what the ASA would have to say about this Japanese story. While I acknowledge it's a P.R stunt in and of itself, it would be interesting to conduct some research determining whether such advertising could be effective. Clearly there’s no shortage of women willing to take part, apparently, thousands have registered. If it has proven efficacy, I dare say it’s a concept that’ll catch on
I confess I haven’t quite made my mind up on the objectification issues raised by this story but if it does become common practice, I wonder where it’ll end! Certainly, we can say with some confidence that it’ll be male-focused ads that will make the most use of the ‘platform’. I can’t help noticing that in the video, the ads are all for the film ‘Ted’ – a ‘blokey’ film if ever there was one! Hidenori Atsumi, CEO of the agency responsible for the ‘leg ads’ makes no secret of the fact it’s male-targeted, claiming it’s a space that “…guys are eager to look at and women are happy to expose.”
It’s still an often-repeated platitude that ‘sex sells’ and as a result, we are constantly in danger of crossing the line from harmless and good-humoredgasp-blpg- ads featuring the opposite sex (men or women- depending on the target audience) and sheer objectification. It’s a line that is heavily scrutinized and rightly so, though I think we can at take least some satisfaction from how far we've come since these howlers...