Get the breasts out if you’re unsure.” Not really a commercial slogan, but it could pass for one. Uninspired ad men’s closest friend has always been cleavage. Is it possible to make a living selling fast food? Show a gaggle of bikini-clad models chowing down on burgers.
Selling ice cream? Videotape it trickling down an attractive woman’s back in slow motion. Selling vehicles? Boobs. Selling insurance for a house? There will be more boobs in the future. No one could possibly disagree with this; it would take an idiot to think otherwise.
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Adidas’s new marketing campaign for its enlarged sports bra collection takes things to a whole new level. Rather than just revealing a little cleavage, the advertisement includes 25 sets of breasts that are completely naked. Scarred, tiny and saggy, all of them are boldly exposed in this collection. A layer of conventional PR fluff about how Adidas wants to promote inclusion and exhibit the different types of modern mammaries is also present.
The company could have said something like, “It’s not that deep – we know this is guaranteed to get people talking, which means our brand name will worm its way into your unconscious and hopefully translate into an increase in sales for our bras.”
And that would have made me respect the company a whole lot more. I’m not sure how well the bras are selling, but the technique to “get people talking” is producing the desired results. Others have criticized the advertisement for Adidas for being exploitative, while others have praised it for its ability to desexualize breasts. “They are now attempting to sell us objectification as if it’s liberation,” a sociology associate professor at the University of California at Irvine told the Washington Post. “They are now trying to sell us objectification as if it’s liberation.”
Even though you make a valid point (I spent the weekend daydreaming about breasts), the former marketing professional in me thinks the ad is actually rather good. Female nipples are banned on Instagram, but male chests are still grotesquely sexualized. Admittedly, Adidas’ ad is a sleazy attention-grab, but anything that normalizes nipples is fine with me!