Sunday, November 02, 2008
I was listening to a radio interview with a marketing professional last week. His suggestion was that what is useful in marketing these days is not so much sex, as the controversy that it can stir up. People will buy sexually explicit material or they will not--that is simply a commodity, or a genre. But a little bawdy material in a public place with get you huge amounts of free publicity.
One master of this technique is the British Lingerie maker aptly named Agent Provocateur. Their advertisements make use of celebrities, soft fetish props and as much skin as can be legally displayed on the side of a bus stop. The latest campaign also seemed to lean heavily on some romance cover tropes and a little light femdom. The practical part of my mind insisted that stilettos and pirate ships would be a bad combination, let alone when conducting a semi-nude saber fight.... but practicalities are rather beside the point in this sort of thing. But it is at least interesting that romance imagery is part of this ultra-modern, hip campaign.
It does make me wonder if erotic romance advertising that focus on hot, sexy, hothotHOT11!11, may be missing the important element of being provocative (naughty, bawdy, suggestive)? More of the feather, less of the whole chicken?