Sunday, November 11, 2007

"Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker!"

And for tonight- a hand picked selection of magazine ads. Not just any ads, mind you, but the finest "We're selling alcohol, not skin, we promise!" ads. Whiskey, vodka, beer... doesn't matter here. We've got scantily clad women.

Is it aspirational? (Ie: Drink this and you'll be as hot as these fine women) or is it... just bull shit?

1. Skyy Vodka- note the dominance/submissive themes at play, and how both models are objectified and faceless. (The viewers are now free to insert themselves into this booze-fueled fantasy.) The man wears a smart navy suit, and the woman wears a bikini as he towers over her, on display. Also note the man's firm grip on the bottle.

2. Chivas- another semi-anonymous woman here. We're free to project our fantasies onto her. Her relation with the product is unknown; she and the alcohol exist in a different physical space: she's confined to black and white monochrome, the liquor meanwhile, in full color. Does this suggest that she's more lifeless than some booze? Also note the bonus copy (right-hand top): "Yes, God is a man." Well, while that may or may not be true, we can tell at least the designer was: a woman sure as heck didn't design this one.

3. Brava Cerveza- Spanish for "The Beer of Summer" or Frat-boy for "Nice Ass"? We may never know. Notice how this woman has been reduced to a single body part. Also, check out the bottles towards the bottom of the page. Great phallus subsitutes, eh? Peicing together the visual messages and cues of this one, I think it's telling us to have anal sex on the beach.

4. Cutty Sark Whiskey. Now we have a full shot of a woman, but where's the product? (That tiny bottle hardly counts!) And if she's sailing, I doubt that she's wearing the most practical outfit.

5. Tabasco Sauce. I know this isn't alcohol, but c'mon, you can tell that it's trying like hell to capitalize on the same type of advertising. Not only is the woman a blank faceless slate for us to project our hot and firey fantasies on, but the product itself is missing from the ad.

Did Tobasco Sauce just beat the beer and liuqor world at their own game? I believe it did! We have a winner.

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