Cheap Tricks

 It was interesting to see Smints’ latest campaign this week, Smint me Hot – offering Spanish consumers the chance to exchange reward points for purchasing Smints, for ‘sensual products’.

Seeing a mainstream brand (albeit one that’s dipped its toes in slightly risqué advertising campaigns in the past) experiment with such a racy concept got me thinking… Smint is certainly not the only brand that’s taken a walk on the wild side. In fact, we’re so used to being surrounded by overtly sexual advertisements desperately competing for our attention that we have become somewhat desensitised to it in our everyday lives. After all, advertising and sex have been tied together for as long as the industry itself.

With the long history and association between the two then, do brands now feel that they have to keep pushing the boundaries in using X-rated ideas to push their products?

I get that sex catches people’s attention and, when used in the right way, can increase the effectiveness of a campaign. However, the sexual content in advertising must be appropriate to the product category and have a proper underlying message. Failure to do this will only result in the cheapening of the brand.