George Duncan

Marketing copywriter/consultant, author

Sex still sells

From Watch Your Ads – A media memo by George Duncan

Sex still sells

Maybe it’s just me, but I keep seeing sex references in several of the ads currently running.

Hold onto that spray can, lady!

The product designers at Dove succumbed to the obvious – if a bit ambitious – it seems to me, when they created the spray can for their antiperspirent. At 8” long and about 2” in circumference, you can guess what that hard white cylinder reminds one of. Less you miss the analogy, they even provided a little slit at the top. One lady in the ad is hanging onto it like she just discovered Piltdown man.

Get a room!

Volkswagen reaches back to the good old days of getting lucky in the back seat with an ad for the V Atlas. It features a family increasing one kid at a time, each supposedly conceived in a Volkswagen, beginning with the bug and progressing to the current Atlas. Each model is shown with windows appropriately fogged up, rocking gently in the woods, the family growing with each model.

In case you miss the point, it’s all backgrounded by Deano Martin singing – ready? – “The Birds and Bees”! Meanwhile, at the end, the whole family seems to be living in their car. Sad.

Mr. Dirty?

Then there’s the new series of kitchen cleanser ads that once featured a friendly Mr. Clean helping out in the kitchen, replaced with an updated fantasy Mr. Clean your clock, who’s slick as a siding salesman. Keep the cell phone handy, ladies.

GEICO strikes again. Sort of…

Less sexy than above, the ad begins in a restaurant with a character dressed in his Sunday best Roman togs, reciting Shakespeare. Camera pulls back to show he’s standing on a customer’s table. She tells the waiter she had asked for soup and he shoos the interloper away with “Caesar on a Caesar salad?” Then GEICO comes on to make the usual non-sequitur connection with the money you’ll save with GEICO Insurance. So, B+ for funny, F for relevance.

Did I see the ad for Squatty Potty? Yes, I did. Will I describe it? No I won’t.

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