It is an old wisdom that we are all aware of and that has been passed on from generation to generation: “SEX SELLS”. But the question we have to ask ourselves nowadays is “How low can we go?”. Is it okay to take any level of adequateness and standard away when it comes to selling something? Take a look at the following spring 2014 ad by Agnona, where a naked model is holding a sheep, only wearing shoes. Okay to be fair here the word Agnona comes from the word agneau so there might be some reference to the brand, but the actual product is more in the background. Or could it be that they want to sell us cheap sheep? Personally I don’t think so but we can just leave that part open to interpretation.
Honestly in the last couple of years we have seen a lot worse and distasteful ads but it still leaves us with the question where do we stop? Gucci for instance does not really know where to stop and does not know what the word advertising space means. In their 2003 ad they shaved the Gucci symbol in a woman’s genital area, obviously mistaking it for a new chance for more ad space.
The sad thing about ads such as Agnona and the Gucci ad: It works. The media coverage for these kinds of ads is huge, even though the Gucci ad ended up being banned; the effect of getting a whole lot of attention was still achieved very successfully. In comparison to that Agnona still has to put some effort into their ads to accomplish a similar effect, because let’s be honest: We have all gotten used to being exposed to ads like that, be it on the way to work or whilst reading a magazine.
By Maria Freundlieb