Sex Sells #25: Smirnoff Ad Crosses Line

I'm all about using sex to sell products.  You'll never hear me complain about a suggestive ad; however, this Smirnoff ad may be the exception.  I've got a problem with this.

What's the matter with this one? Let me answer that by explaining to you that the "sex sells" principle can be used in one of two ways...

1. Overt sexual imagery.  Example: A woman in a Playboy bunny outfit in an office supply brochure
2. Subliminal sexual imagery: Example A woman takes a drink from a garden hose in a cigarette ad.

This Smirnoff ad qualifies for neither.  It tries to be subliminal, but it is so unbelievably obvious that the illusion is broken.  We see a chick literally polishing a man's wooden shaft whilst he looks down as someone would who is on the receiving end of a dynamite hand job.  Unbelievable.

You've got to hand it to Smirnoff.  They tried to cross the line.... a line that only Newport knew how to cross.  I commend their frontier spirit.


  1. AnonymousJuly 02, 2011

    The position of her knee IN his crotch is also priceless....

  2. AnonymousJuly 02, 2011

    what's wrong with that? they are filthy hippies, after all.

  3. AnonymousJuly 02, 2011

    Removal of excess wax during apres ski is essential to the preparation of the next day's skiing. I don't see anything wrong if a guy asks his girl to get the wax off his ski. If she wants to wax it off, she may find that his appreciation for waxing it off makes the experience mutually pleasurable for them both. He may chose to try putting on and taking off her pink sweat shirt at least 2 more times just to be nice.

  4. I'd have to agree -- any subliminal message intended here is lost in it's transgression of propriety, especially in those days. I don't know if these have been mentioned yet here at RETROSPACE, but there are a few interesting books on this subject for those who wish to delve deeper: "The Hidden Persuaders" by Vance Packard, and "Subliminal Seduction" and "Media Sexploitation" by Wilson Bryan Key. There are dissenting schools of thought on hidden sexual messages in advertising. I'd have to say that some, at least, were calculated.

  5. I know sex sells that's why we created Sex Sells Inc Clothing. Check it out at www.SexSellsInc.com