Monday, July 06, 2009


This must have been an interesting pitch meeting: "We want the guy buying your product to also buy a pornographic magazine. A really nasty one. Then terrible things will happen to him, and he will be humiliated on national TV, and everyone will know that he — your consumer — is a total deviant."

The ad, which quietly appeared in February as part of a viral campaign, has attracted little notice thus far, but because it comes from a highly respected American brand, it seems to mark some kind of cultural tipping point, where pornography has soaked so far into the fabric of mainstream culture that it's no longer seen as a stain. The phenomenon, known as porn creep, is also evident in ads from such companies as American Apparel, Carl's Jr. and Quiznos.

As marketers struggle to find ways to make an impression on a population saturated in all kinds of media, the too-hot-for-TV online-only video has become an increasingly common device. And in order to get customers to seek out and recommend the straight-to-YouTube video, marketers often reach for comedy from the appropriateness hinterlands. Especially when trying to reel in young men.

Both Anheuser-Busch and DDB declined to comment for this story. But branding expert Rob Frankel contends that any controversy generated by the video will be regarded as icing on the marketing-strategy cake. "This ad is about a guy who would like a brew and some ass," he says. "That's right in their strike zone."
Read the whole article (with links) here.

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