No one utilizes the power of sexual suggestion like car companies. Cars are a sex symbol, and in the race to sell their brands, the top players in the industry have tried to out-sex each other, at one point or another.
Some of them are just sleazy.
From Ford to BMW, here are the lowest of the low in automotive sales tactics.
Some don’t even feature a car.
'What's hot?' Mercedes asks its YouTube audience. 'The all-new Mercedes-Benz CLA.'
'What's hotter? Kate Upton washing it in slow motion.'
This Super Bowl spot holds nothing back. Ms. Upton, lips pursed, blows a heap of foamy white bubbles off her hand. The gleaming Mercedes drips with water (sweat) in the soft sunlight. The football team actually doing the washing can't look away from Ms. Upton as she saunters forward, tousling her hair playfully.
'You missed a spot,' she says.
This spot from ATTIK US boasts the Scion iQ's capacity for barely-clad women, doughnuts, and goblets of milk.
The four women of 'Babes 'n' doughnuts,' the brand's 2012 hit, cram into a tiny Scion for a few minutes of reverse doughnuts. While eating doughnuts. And drinking milk.
Obviously, they spill the milk all over themselves. At least Scion isn't trying to pass the commercial off as something it's not.
Renault's 'Va Va Voom' TV spot features 2 minutes of burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese stripping in a boudoir with a gaggle of onlookers crowding outside to peep in.
But Renault does its best to play the commercial off as a testament to the elusive concept of 'Va Va Voom,' which Ms. Von Teese is asked to define. She comes up with:
'Va Va Voom is vocally expressing your passion, or even sexual excitement, for something.'
The Renault being advertised (the Clio) is featured in unfocused clips for a grand total of about 2 seconds. It is also one of the best-selling cars in all of Europe. Go figure.
In this 2002 commercial for Ford, pop sensation Kylie Minogue struts through an idyllic Italian courtyard towards a Ford StreetKa, which slowly rolls towards Ms. Minogue.
Ms. Minogue faces the car, lifts her face to a softly raining sky, and works a suggestive expression of pleasure. She strokes the car and enters into the driver's seat.
Ford's VP of Marketing said the ad played on what the singer and the StreetKa had in common: 'they are both small, beautiful, and stylish.'
This uncomfortable Nissan spot features a sleazy guy in a suit conducting airflow tests to compare the 'drag' of a car and a woman. He points out the fact that this term also describes 'when boys wear lady things.'
'And if that's a boy,' he continues, gesturing towards the model (Brooklyn Decker), 'well played, sir.'
It doesn't make much sense.
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