Sexy ad campaigns over the decades

Monday, December 31, 2012
As much as we all hate to admit it, advertising really does have a certain, undeniable impact. From witty ads to charming stylish feature commercials, advertising works in all sorts of mind-boggling ways. Yet, if the old saying is anything to go by, the most effective type of advertising is the sexy ads. Why: because sex sells. Throughout history, some of the sexy advertising campaigns have stood out better than others. Here is a countdown of the top 5 campaigns that use sex appeal as their greatest asset: 

Undoubtedly known as one of the most established brands in modern fashion, it’s safe to say much of the Levi jeans success comes down to their raunchy advertising campaigns. With so much focus on the hip and derriere region, it hardly comes as any surprise that sex is an immediate focal point for their campaigns. The Levi unbuttoned ad campaign was one of the first to raise some eyebrows, while the YouTube hit known as the Levi’s “blind man” ad was also a huge success. 

The famous animal rights group PETA has used a lot of different methods to highlight their activism, some of them more visually appealing than others. Most recently, however, they have been putting a whole lot of sex appeal behind their campaigns to steer people clear of eating meat. Alicia Silverstone famously posed naked to help get their message out. 

Yves Saint Laurent 
When a sexy ad campaign hits the public, it’s often not without some form of backlash. This was certainly the case with the highly controversial Yves Saint Laurent poster campaign, which saw supermodel Sophie Dahl strip down to her birthday suit. The image of the porcelain beauty, depicted reclining on plush, royal blue velvet robes caused quite a stir. The Opium perfume campaign saw 730 complaints and caused the Advertising Standards Authority to order Yves Saint Laurent to remove all of the existing posters. But it’s safe to say that the poster had its desired effect, with the Opium campaign remaining one of the most recognisable ads ever produced. 

Agent Provocateur
It wouldn’t be a genuine line-up of sexy ads without a lingerie brand thrown in there. While Victoria’s Secrets always have their lineup of supermodels ready and waiting, the ad that caused the greatest stir came from a more pint-sized lady. The diminutive songstress Kylie Minogue brought out an infamous Agent Provocateur commercial, involving the suspender- clad singer and a rodeo bull. Naturally, it became another huge hit in the online world.

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