Incorporating sex in advertisements unsurpisingly captures the attention of people who give praise or criticism towards the product promotion. Even if it brings a negative impression, sometimes this is the technique to make a buzz about the brand. It may sound desperate but a bad publicity is still a good publicity. Even if the brand's image is at risk, audience will still talk about the ad. And the word of mouth matters because this is sometimes more effective because your audience will pass the message to your potential customers.
Last year, the advertising industry was shocked when Italian ice cream brand Antonio Federici gelato released an interesting yet provocative print ad campaign that mixed religion with sexual imagery.
Some people found these witty yet the ads were subjected for review due to complaints.
Based on the Committee of Advertising Practice, "linking sex or sexualized images with religion may cause particular offense" and "portraying nuns in a sexual manner is inappropriate." With that said, Antonio Federici ads were practically disobeying the ad law.
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority banned the prints although the gelato company said that the campaign was a “tongue-in-cheek portrayal celebrating forbidden Italian temptations”.
No offense to the believers but personally, I found the campaign smart, fresh, and quite funny. Although there's too much "sex" in a blasphemous way for a gelato brand, Antonio Federici was able to create the "buzz" that is practically one of the goals in creating an ad that has an impact.
How about you? What do you think about these ads?