Advertisers: Wake Up And Smell The Sex

Ad Induced Hotness?

Previously on Adrants: Writing in the Hendersonville News, Susan Hanley Lane shares her feelings regarding a racy Skechers billboard she saw when she was with her father in law as he was getting haircut. Noting the odd juxtaposition of the two figures on the billboard having simulated sex, advertising-style, with the presence of her father in law and two small girls playing outside near the board, Susan makes a convincingly cogent argument that, perhaps, we've taken this sex sells thing a bit too far.

She notes the walled garden that used to be called childhood has collapsed and has been replaced, at least for girls, by girlhood. In other words, kids aren't kids anymore but have, because of the continual presence of adult imagery, become young hotties in training. When you roll it up like that, it does certainly feel odd that young kids are routinely exposed to this sort of imagery. Many, including myself, have said, "Oh, just don't look. Turn the TV off. Monitor what your kids read and what they do online." Well, sure. That's all good but it's also like trying to juggle 12 tons of Jello while riding a unicycle. It's not possible. Kids are resourceful. If they want to see or do something, they'll find a way around parental blockage. Acknowledging that, one could argue if racy imagery that is now commonplace wasn't there in the first place, kids who circumvent so called blockage would find nothing more that a fully clothed Betty Crocker staring back at them.

There's really no answer to this conundrum. After all, inherently, there's absolutely nothing wrong with sex. It's natural. It's healthy. It's normal. Everyone does it. However, for one to successfully navigate the murky waters of that form of human engagement, one must possess a certain degree of wisdom achieved only through age, education and experience. Try telling a 13 year old girl, today, she doesn't need to wear a thong, a midriff-baring top and do-me shoes while dancing in front of a webcam. Try telling a 13 year old boy he shouldn't drop everything he's doing and dive right into all that.

It's not sexual desire or sexual attractiveness that's any different than it was 20, 50, 100 years ago. It's that it's in our face 24/7. In 1900, a guy might go months without ever seeing an image of a woman. In the eighties, Madonna wore more clothes that today's average highschool sophomore. There's no turning back the clock to Puritanical times nor are we advocating that. Perhaps, what's needed is a bit more thoughtful consideration during the development of marketing campaigns as to the effect sexually laced advertising (and yes, it's not entirely advertising's fault but we can't solve all the world's problems here) imagery has on young, ill-prepared minds.

Even as I, along with many others may enjoy the Paris Hilton Carl's, Jr. sex-with-a-Bentley ad or the disrobing hotties of Virtual Bartender or the Christina Aguilera Skechers nurse-hottie ads or American Apparel barely-legal catalog models or any other of the thousands of racy, sexually charged images surrounding us, I'm well over the age of 18. Many who view these images are not. Think about that.

by Steve Hall    Oct-13-05   Click to Comment   
Topic: Opinion, Trends and Culture   

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Sounds like Susan needs to get laid!

Posted by: John Boy on October 13, 2005 12:39 PM

For God's sake, Steve, don't leave us in suspense. What is the name of that spectacularly, uh, talented young lady in the picture?

Posted by: Satan on October 13, 2005 12:53 PM

I've always thought the mindset of "If you don't like it, turn it off" missed the mark. A bit of a cop out. Part of a mindset that doesn't want to appear 'unsophisticated' or 'chic'. We're in advertising. The Spanish word for that is PROPAGANDA. Advertising influences are culture. And today we've got problems with teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and young people trying to look as sexually appealing as possible before they are physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially mature.

No, John Boy. Susan doesn't need to get laid. You need to grow up.

Posted by: JTrenn on October 13, 2005 1:08 PM

Let's face it advertising with sex is easy. In particular media outlets are numerous and are commoditized. Why be innovative when you can buy outdoor space or an online presence on the cheap. "Hey I'm targeting the 18-24's throw it all out there and see what sticks." Don't worry about the fallout with my little girls. At 7 they should be able to sort it all out...If it was hard to do you would see less of it in our popular culture.

Posted by: Mark on October 13, 2005 2:15 PM

what the hell is that visual for?

Posted by: cc on October 13, 2005 2:40 PM

I think Jonathan needs to get laid too!

Posted by: John Boy on October 13, 2005 3:04 PM

It's what kids are wearing these days, cc. In advertising and in real life.

Posted by: Steve Hall on October 13, 2005 3:25 PM

For one day I'd love to see those of you who spout the mantra "turn it off" try and do anything anywhere in the company of an inquisitive 3 year old.
You know, it ain't easy from trying to explain ads on TV, songs on the radio, and questions about magazine covers. Being a parent these days is like negoiating a mind field...because at every turn sexvertising, or something awfully like it, is nearly inescapable.

Posted by: Amy Fanter on October 13, 2005 7:30 PM

an interview on 'on the media' with fredrick kaufman, the author of "debbie does salad", makes the salient point that advertising as a whole has changed rapidly over the past 15 years. his premise (presumably further discussed in an upcoming book) is that the industry has switched largely from logic-driven desire to emotive desire, with imagery, sounds and colors that target gut need. instead of waiting for our brains to figure out why we want something, now the stimulus in our central nervous system is powerful enough.

it's an interesting premise, and given the radical proliferation of sexual imagery, seems to make more sense. we don't even know we're being manipulated anymore- we just get turned on.

Posted by: isti on October 14, 2005 1:29 AM

"And today we've got problems with teen pregnancy,"
As opposed to yesteryear, when there were no problems.
Point of fact: Teen pregnancy is on the decline.

Posted by: Ben Popken on October 14, 2005 9:38 AM

No Ben, yesteryear there were plenty of problems. That's not the point. And yes, teen age pregnancy in on the decline - after going up for a couple of decades.

Posted by: Jonathan Trenn on October 14, 2005 11:45 AM

Unfortunately, the sexvertising trend is something like the Tragedy of the Commons: if you don't utilize this arguably immoral but effective technique, your competitors will. While thoughtful and creative ads can certainly compete, it is far easier, faster, and cheaper to plaster your campaign with scantily clad men and women.

Posted by: Cope on February 7, 2006 4:24 PM

the only thing offensive about the jessica simpson pizza hut ad is jessica simpson. dammit, she's annoying and her voice - THAT makes me never want to eat at pizza hut again.

Posted by: jeannie on February 8, 2006 1:41 PM

Sexvertising: Advertising for morons. I make a point of boycotting the worst offenders (Rockstar Energy Drink comes to mind) and letting the company know that I'm doing so.

Posted by: Bart King on February 8, 2006 1:43 PM

Je l'ai su que bien après notre rencontre mais ma femme colette choisez avait été aussi contactée par playboy pour poser nue, faut dire qu'en plus d'avoir un joli visage elle a un corps parfait, mais pour des raisons obscures bien que plusieurs scéances photo aient été faite, il n'y a pas eu parrution, en fait je pense qu'elle ne voulait pas que son nom, colette choisez apparaisse en couverture, ce que j'ai aussi apris c'est que colette choisez avant de devenir ma femme à fait fin des années 1970 début 1980 des films porno et érotique ainsi que des photos pour différents magazine de cul. Elle était spécialisée dans la fellation, la double pénétration et l'exhibition.
Bref ma femme colette choisez se faisait bourrer la chate tout en se faisant enculer tandis qu'elle suçait le tout en public.
On peut notament la voir sur des sites tel que RODOX

Posted by: femme_nue on March 16, 2007 6:18 AM

C'est clair, ta colette choisez, la belle madame colette choisez, cette magnifique femme, cette superbe brune, bin c'est une sacrée salope !
Me rapelle quand elle est une fois venue pour me fourguer ses contrats de la git, on discutait dans le salon et elle remarqua que je matais son superbe décolté....
Elle se tourna vers prenant les bords de son chemisier le tira vers moi..."c'est ca que vous regarder ?" me lanca t elle....
Sa faisait un peu comme sur la photo....
Elle resta ainsi, j'attrapa les documents, les signa....
Je mis un doigts dans ce décoleté et madame colette choisez me laissa caresser sa poitrine quelques instant.
Je sentai sa peau douce, puis je glissa dans son soutien gorge et y mis toute une main pour lui palper le seins à pleins doigts...
Cette salope de colette choisez se laissa peloter pendant 2, 3 minutes puis se retira...."On vera la suite à chaque visite de clients......"
Et voilà je ne l'ai plus jamais revue et c'est une auter moche qui s'est occupé de la vente....

Posted by: raoul on March 28, 2007 4:34 AM