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Sex Sells (Duh!): A look at some sexy/sexist ads (Jerome A. Holst © 2005)

 < Continued from Page 1

Hai Karate!Hai Karate! - Back in the 1960s and 1970s, a lot of companies were using sex to sell their products. One of the more memorable came from the Hai Karate after shave people. Like the TAG ads of 2005, the Hai Karate spots warned their customers to be on the look out for wild women who were adversely affected by the product's seductive lemon-lime scent. Purchasers of Hai Karate received a self defense booklet with tips on how to avoid over-sexed chicks. The fun part of the commercial was seeing dorky guys with dark rimmed glasses karate chopping their way past a throng of lust-filled woman.

Here is a script from one of their ads.


[Whispering] You're at the top secret Hai Karate training school. These trainees are learning how to defend themselves in case they get a Hai Karate! gift set for Christmas.

[Cardboard cutouts of women suddenly pop up as trainees in karate outfits wander through an open field. The men defend themselves with Karate chops.]


[Forceful voice] Hai Karate! There's a cram course on self defense in every package.

[Trainees apply more Hai Karate as three real woman approach from behind. The men turn and defend themselves]


Hai Karate! It's like super mistletoe in a bottle.

[Dorky guy fights off a pack of women. Hai YA!]

Brylcreem AdBrylcreem - This is the progenitor to the current TAG Bodyspray commercial campaign. Before Hai Karate!, there was Byrycreem, a hair conditioning solution used by males to keep their hair clean and in place. These ads were the proponents of "moderation in all things" which reflected in their catchphrase slogan "A little dab will do ya." But the product "warned" of the consequences for .those who dared use more. Below, read a cautionary warning from one of their 1960s ad spots.



Men beware! Use one dab of Brylcreem. Just a little dab makes your hair look excitingly clean, disturbingly healthy. [shows male pursued by a group of females]. This man dared to use two dabs, now he's in trouble. We refuse to be responsible. [Product jingle kicks in]

Brylcreem, Brylcreem, Brylcreem,
Brylcreem a little dab will do ya
Brycreem you'll look so debonair
Brylcreem, the gals will all pursue ya
They love to get their fingers in your hair
Brylcreem, a little dab will do ya.
Or watch out the gals will all pursue ya.


Get Brylcreem today.

Some Honorable Mentions

Yamaguchi in 'Got Milk' Ad

Certs Ad

DietPepsi Ad

Krisiti Yamaguchi
 in "Got Milk' Ad
Sexy Gal from
Certs Mint Ad
Cindy Crawford
Diet Pepsi Model

Spuds MacKenzie

Lucky Vanous, the Diet Coke Hunk

Coor Twins

Spuds MacKenzie with beach babes Lucky Vanous, the Diet Coke Hunk  Coors Twins
 "sexy beer bimbos"
The Fantanas Mascots for Fanta Beverage

The above ad picks are representative of thousands of other commercials that have used the "sex sells" formula over the years. Despite objections from groups who deem the theme of "sex" as an objectionable way to sell a product, ad agencies know that it ("sex") is a powerful merchandising tool. It is not something they are about to stop using, nor should they. After all, sex is natural. Sex is fun. At least, that's what I'm told.

And based on the current trend in TV ads, looks like sex is here to stay. So, instead of coming down on these ads with claims of censorship, lets enjoy their primal message and, as they say in the music world, "get down, get down, get down tonight."

And remember, if you can't get down with Paris Hilton, you can, at least, get down to your local Carl's Jr./Hardees franchise and have a spicy BBQ burger. Like Paris Hilton, they're..."Hot!"

Bonus: A Diet Pepsi commercial with a Cindy Crawford cameo. The ad spot has a guy drinking a can of Pepsi as the walks down a city street to the music of the Bee Gees (a la "Saturday Night Fever"). As he walks, females, one by one, begin to follow him. At one point, even a guy looks at the man with astonishment. Are all these people fascinated with the Pepsi or the hunk holding the can? You decide. Click for "Pepsi Cindy Crawford Cameo"

NOTE: This article may be linked or copied for distribution to other Internet publications. Please credit the article to the author, Jerome A. Holst and mention its URL


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