Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How not to catch a viral (from sex in advertising)

I seem to be getting a bit of a reputation for looking at the industry's seamier side, so I'll try to keep this tasteful. It's about what suckers we all are.

Ever heard of Soft Paris? Of course you haven't. But don't click the link because it's a French sex shop.

I hadn't heard of them either until I read my "news" (ie, social media feeds) over coffee early this morning.

Ads of the World, you see, is a favourite hangout for Creatives like me. Getting your ad on there is a virtual guarantee of coverage in ad blogs — and possibly even MSM coverage — which guarantees thousands of clicks.

And sure enough, first Copyranter, then Adrants, picked up the story. AdFreak can't be far behind. And believe me, you will be hearing about this on mainstream online news in a day or two.

What's the big deal? It's just sex. (And it's NSFW in much of North America.)

[Video baleeted by YouTube - but still on Ads of the World]

And yet people lap it up like a bowl of strawberries. Why? Because we're chumps. Big dumb men (and the women who put up with them).

But it doesn't matter how self-aware we are. Ad people are pervs. Believe me. I've been doing this for 20 years, and I actually get called "politically correct" on occasion by even cruder colleagues.

So I have a challenge for you, dear readers: Do NOT pass this post on. Do not talk about it, and certainly do not show it to your friends when the boss isn't looking. Forget the name "Soft Paris" and the mental images it brings up. In fact, forget you ever read this blog. And whatever you do, do not look up what the Italian word for "fig" means in common slang usage.

And don't comment either! You'll just draw attention to this smut.


  1. You can talk about viral sex ads, try to keep it "tasteful" and talk about what "suckers" we all are and you don't generate a single comment (not counting this one).

    But talk about Chris Frantz, Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club and you get the most comments you have had in the last few months.

    Sex doesn't sell, Rock and Roll does!