Racy advertising. Hot or not?
Bikini-clad women, sensuous curves and lustful stares.
What’s the point you may ask, well, obviously, sex sells. For sure, sexy and racy advertising points eyeballs in the direction you want it to, but is it always necessarily the correct direction?
How subtle can you get without annoying your audience? How much is too much? Will it harm your brand’s image?
The key lies in your target audience. Because racy advertising is a subjective issue, its success is also relatively subjective, depending on what the brand or business is trying to achieve.
Here we categorize some examples of racy advertising and it’s relative effectiveness:
Racy, but relevant
Threading the line
In some cases, the effectiveness of racy advertising is questionable and seems to be threading the line. Some brands want to sell a sexy image and be associated with desire. Think Calvin Klein and Dolce & Gabbana , however questionable the hint of coerced sex in their ads may be.
Then there is Burger King hinting at oral sex with their ads, and Diesel with a casual sex element in their “Be Stupid” campaign, both which are pretty smart and unique in a way. Is casual and oral sex ok, but group sex and coerced sex not?
Over the top
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GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons calls their campaign “edgy advertising” . Their risqué SuperBowl ads feature leggy, toned beauties like WWE diva Candice Michelle and “America’s Toughest Trainer” Jillian Micheals. Be it dresses slipping off or steamy shower scenes, one questions what it has to do with what they are actually selling: domain names and web hosting.
According to Wired.com , however popular the ads may be, it has got some customers leaving. Has the suggestive nature of advertising in this case gone too far by promoting explicit immoral and irresponsible behavior?