There’s the saying, “sex sells”. It’s true, advertisers pick beautiful bodies to drape across their products, or drape their products across. They put beautiful faces with sly smiles on brochures to sell anything from health insurance to copper plumbing, industries where the quality of the service is in no way actually affected by the provider’s physical appearance.
The alcohol industry is especially eager to equate their products with sex; this is even more true for the hard alcohol industry. Try to think of the last vodka ad you saw that didn’t feature a female covered in sweat beadletts, either in swimwear or posing in the snow, or a combination of both, although it’s a mystery to me as to how she could still be sweating in that situation. Maybe it’s the act of drinking straight vodka in the middle of the day, while trekking across the arctic clad only in fur Minnetonka boots and a bikini. Or maybe she’s just stressed about how her Minnetonka boots are going to be totally out next season.
Usually accompanied by the model’s scarceness of clothes and perennial hyper-tan is the vacant, open-mouthed, “I’ve been watching TV for four hours”, /the pouty, “Bitch, you’re wearing my dress!” glare, which was originally intended to communicate a sexy, “Come hither, I’m wasted and that means you’re getting laid.” expression. At least, that’s how advertisers are hoping the ordinary guy is going to interpret it.
Speaking of ordinary guys and their interpretation, the makers of Cabana Cachaca rum must have had them in mind when they designed their latest ad campaign. If you think the ad below is bad, the website is even more over-the-top, featuring a nude model rolling about, clad in only her tidy whitey tan lines. Their tagline, “Authentically Brazilian” makes you wonder if they also own a chain of waxing and tanning salons as well.
If the brand is trying to market a lifestyle, then they should follow through and start their own porn magazine, and distribute Cabana Cachaca condoms at local liquor marts.
I can see some brilliant package deals: For a limited time only: buy a liter of premium Cabana Cachaca Brazilian Rum and get three free Cabana Cachaca condoms in 3 different tropical flavors: Pineapple, Coconut and Mango! And for the ladies, we have a special package deal: A complete Cabana Cachaca Brazilian rum-scented waxing kit and Coconut-flavored Morning-After pill for one cheap price! It’s all the prep and clean-up in one easy step! Cabana Cachaca: the total lifestyle brand.
Good brands are all about authenticity. If by “Authentically Brazilian”, they mean everyone in Brazil runs around butt-naked, then I high-five them on their truly authentic campaign. If not, then really, let’s be serious. You want to market sex? Then follow through and actually address sex as a lifestyle choice. If not, then stick to selling alcohol. Otherwise, you better start putting safe sex advice on the back of the bottle, along with “don’t drink and drive”. Let’s be socially conscious, people, and be consistent about what your brand really communicates.