A friend of mine sent me this link the other day
When I passed it on to my friend Sara, she immediately identified it as a European ad (she’s wicked smart and savvy).
I then realized that a lot of the ads I like, the ones I think are smart and funny and the most interesting, are usually European. American advertising consists of mainly car ads (some horrible rendition of a once much loved song and quick cuts of a fast car), pharmaceuticals (a testimonial so we can put a face to male enhancement issues and our father’s can relate to that nice looking man in the v neck cardigan), and beer. Maybe I’m giving away the kind of television I’m watching that those are the ads playing, but in any case, I know there’s not much else out there. And whatever is, even while funny, isn’t nearly as clever as Europe’s.
European ads are usually pretty sexy, and while I don’t think that’s always necessary, I do think most of those ads wouldn’t fly over here, given our love of the puritan moral system and our need to protect our children from anything mildly sexual. God forbid they should be exposed to something sexual, or even worse, as Jane Jackson knows all too well, see a boob! No, I am not saying all advertising should jump on the Abercrombie and Fitch bandwagon, but it is weird how shy we are of our bodies (other than the male enhancement phenomenon, which is astounding).
I was in Europe as a young teenager and I passed a billboard for Milk. The image was a naked man with a towel draped over his waist lying on his side with his back to the viewer and a naked woman was also on her side proped up on her elbow, peeking over him (no, you couldn’t see anything). The caption was: Milk. For Stronger Bones. Might be the best ad I’ve seen to date and you’d never see that in the States because it would be too sexual, even though it’s subtle and tastefully done.
Given our love of the “sex sells” theory, you’d think American advertising could come up with something more artfully devious than the Swedish bikini team for beer. How about this or this. Is the woman being objectified? You betcha. But at least she’s getting something done instead of splashing water and smiling. Plus, opening a beer with your cleavage is pretty sweet. I’m still perfecting the art. Selling cars? Here’s one. Or this one that doesn’t use humor, sex or Bon Jovi but is just settling for being superterrific.
For our viewing pleasure, American advertisers, feel free to use sex. It’s one of the biggest motivaters of all time and our country could use a real sexual revolution. All I ask is that you use it well.