Does Sex (Always) Sell?

orangina-zebra-small-28130

I’m just back from a wonderful (dare I say “sensual”)  vacation in the South of France.

The weather was warm, the nights were long and, in general, our time was  spent in a relaxed languid and indulgent mode.

Our days and nights were a continuous feast of fragrant, heady wine and mouth-watering  local delicacies: mussels fresh from the Mediterranean sauteed in garlic, ripe figs picked right from the local trees, creamy gelato in inspired flavors and crepes dripping with chocolate…

So with all this rampant hedonism, you think an advertising message using sex as it’s theme would automatically hit a positive note, right?

Well, um no.

This Orangina ad was everywhere, using various wild animals in anatomically “interesting” portrayals.

And as much as my thirst was piqued by the 90 degree days…these ads for the popular carbonated beverage, in my opinion, just fell flat (pun intended).

I just don’t see what’s sexy about a zebra (or a giraffe or any of the other wild animals I saw in the ads). And I’m really not sure about the connection to the product.

Perhaps the line “naturally juicy” may be trying to create some connection between oranges and animals – both objects that are found in nature. ???

But when this line is juxtaposed with these clearly “unnaturally” enhanced illustrations, I find the whole thing a bit disturbing.

True it did get my attention. But it it also had me reaching for a Perrier, or another suitable beverage alternative.

Sex can often be a powerful tool in the advertising arsenal. But I think it’s best used in situations where there is some relevant connection between sex and the product an (ex. perfume, fashion, alcohol). Where using the product might make you feel more sexy/desirable.

I guess you could argue that in the languid summer heat, any thirst-quenching beverage can promise an element of sensual satisfaction…but the use of the animals in such a bizarre, over-sexualized way just confuses me.

Am I missing something?

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

Would this sexy zebra get your juices flowing?

Our online Brand School course will give you the insight and tools you need to keep your brand creative and innovative. Receive more information about the next semester and free tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

Please also check us out on Twitter and Facebook for more insight and discussion on branding.

It was great pulling everything together from touch points, to pillars. I would recommend Brand School to any small biz owner or entrepreneur. – Sarah W., Brand School Student

2 thoughts on “Does Sex (Always) Sell?

  1. Yeah I agree. I think the adage should just apply to humans. The second you bring animals into the sex sells approach you’re definitely risking hitting the mark. Had it been a beautiful women galloping on a zebra through a field of orange trees, with her hair blowing in the wind, as she refreshingly drinks an Orangina that is being squeezed into her mouth from an orange by some half naked man – that could have sold me on “naturally juicy”. I’m sure Adam and Eve got a little frisky like that.

  2. I agree! Sex is only effective when it makes people feel like they will be having more of it! haha. A sexual suggestive Zebra doesn’t connect us with anything. It’s such a STRANGE choice. I wish I could be in that room because I am curious what they were thinking!

    I am volunteering at RHHlive and wanted to visit your site and learn more about what you do! Excited to hear you speak!

Leave a Reply to Shenee Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *