World’s Sexiest Commercials anything but

The things I do for you. Just the other night, when you were down at the bar, I was still in harness. Working my fingers to the bone. Slaving over a flickering TV screen. Tirelessly tracking trends in international advertising for...

The things I do for you.

Just the other night, when you were down at the bar, I was still in harness.

Working my fingers to the bone.

Slaving over a flickering TV screen. Tirelessly tracking trends in international advertising for your amusement and edification.

The program I’d spotted in the TV guide was heaven-sent for an ad columnist 24 hours away from a deadline and devoid of inspiration.

It was called Banned in America: The World’s Sexiest Commercials. Perfect. A column-in-a-tube. Ominously, it was to be hosted by someone with the unlikely name of Carmen Electra, who turned out to be a bubble-breasted, construction worker’s wet dream, and who I believe is mainly notorious for getting drunk and being arrested in the company of Dennis Rodman.

Carmen’s contribution to the show was to bulge out of skin-tight Spandex and introduce each of some 50 spots with a salacious, double-entendre-laden little spiel intended to convince us the next one was totally filthy and then give us the same, identical I’m-such-a-cute-little-slut giggle and kind of undulate while the audience cheered and hooted. Fifty times in a row!

Overall, you’ve got to think America is a better place for banning the stuff on The World’s Sexiest Commercials. Most of the off-colour ones are puerile and embarrassing, and most of the funny ones aren’t very sexy.

You had your jiggling breasts spot from Portugal, of all places. Anybody here from Portugal? Yeaaa! The actress’ breasts jiggled because her cell phone was vibrating. Next time she’ll buy a cell phone that doesn’t vibrate.

And the vibrator spot from Finland where the farmer picks up a package at the post office for his wife and it goes off in the box when it hits the counter and starts moving around making buzzing sounds. We think it’s a sex toy until we see the wife whipping up a cake mix with her new battery-powered kitchen beater. Shot of husband, bummed out. Sponsor is a package delivery outfit.

There was a condom commercial from Argentina where a little boy is driving his father nuts by insisting on playing with Barbies rather than army guy action figures. Cut to kid, now post-pubescent, waking up in bed with two snoozing babes who look exactly like Bar

bies. He’s straight, but all his male friends are now gay. Slice-of-life stuff must be huge in Argentina.

One more condom-based spot from Brazil has a teenage guy picking up this lovely young girl to go on a date. Her father asks him what he intends to do with his daughter, and the kid goes into a long and cheerful description of how they’ll go make love but not to worry because he’ll use these new condoms he’s purchased which are great because they’re ribbed and so on. A voice-over says some people can only speak the truth and for them there’s only one job which is writing for such-and-such newspaper. Wow.

Another newspaper spot from South Africa has a flasher opening his trench coat on unsuspecting victims, with the voice-over saying Something small to advertise? Call such-and-such newspaper.

Confessional spots were big, too. A village lad tells a Catholic priest he’s just had sex with two nymphomaniac twins. The priest invites him to confess. He says he doesn’t want to confess. Then why are you telling me this says the priest. I’m telling everybody says the kid. Foster’s Lager sponsors, and the line is He who drinks Australian thinks Australian.

A rival Australian beer shows us three guys who’ve just arrived in a sleepy outback town. One goes into a church to take confession. He tells the priest he’s slept with a local girl. The priest says It wasn’t so-and-so, was it? No. Was it so-and-so? No. Could it have been so-and-so? No. Well, say 20 Hail Marys and don’t do it again. Guy leaves church, goes back to friends.

I’ve got three names for us! he says.

A spot from New Zealand stars a bored, hostile, middle-aged married couple, apparently going on holiday, because they’re sitting two empty seats apart at the back of an aircraft with a sign that says toilet over their heads. They don’t even look at each other when they speak. The guy is munching on something, though. Did you stop the paper he barks. Yeah she says. I’m seein’ another woman he says. Me too she snaps. Product is Peanut Slab, which is described as Good Honest Chocolate.

For those who believe erection metaphors make for compelling advertising, we have a spot from France that shows a guy having difficulty making a deposit at a sperm bank. He finally achieves dramatic success with the help of a magazine turned to a motorcycle ad. Your kind of bike, right? No?

Also, an outfit called New York Sports Clubs solicits memberships with an elderly couple in bed. To their mutual delight something is happening to the guy under the covers! Then a super comes on: Too bad there’s not a pill that makes the rest of your body hard. Another club I’m not sure you want to join.

Next time somebody tells you sex sells, give me a ring and I’ll loan you my dub.

Barry Base creates advertising campaigns for a living. He writes this column to promote the cause of what he calls intelligent advertising, and to attract clients who share the notion that many a truth is said in jest. Barry can be reached at (416) 924-5533, or faxed at (416) 960-5255, at the Toronto office of Barry Base & Partners.

In Brief: The Garden picks CDs to take on daily creative leadership

Plus, Naked names two new leaders of its own and Digital Ethos comes to Canada.

The Garden promotes two creative directors

ACDs Lindsay Eady and Francheska Galloway-Davis have taken over responsibility for day-to-day creative leadership at The Garden after being promoted to creative director roles.

The pair will also help develop the agency’s creative talent, formalizing mentorship and leadership activities they have been doing since joining the agency four and three years ago, respectively. In addition to creating the agency’s internship program, the pair have worked on campaigns for Coinsquare, FitTrack and “The Coke Challenge” campaign for DanceSafe.

Eady and Galloway-Davis will continue to report to The Garden’s co-founder and chief creative officer Shane Ogilvie, who is stepping back from daily creative duties to a more high-level strategic role, allowing him to focus on client relationships and business growth.

Naked Creative Consultancy names new creative and strategy leadership

Toronto’s Naked Creative Consultancy has hired Yasmin Sahni as its new creative director. She is taking over creative leadership from David Kenyon, who has been in the role for 10 years and is moving into a new role as director of strategy, leading the discipline at the agency.

Sahni is coming off of three years as VP and ECD at GTB’s Toronto office, where she managed all the retail, social and service creative for Ford Canada. She previously managed both Vice Media and Vice’s in-house ad agency Virtue.

Peter Shier, president of Naked, says Sahni’s hiring adds to its creative bench and capabilities, as well as a track record of mentorship, a priority for the company. Meanwhile, Kenyon’s move to the strategy side, he says, makes sense because of his deep knowledge of its clients, which have included Ancestry and The Globe and Mail.

Digital Ethos opens a Toronto office

U.K. digital agency Digital Ethos is pursuing new growth opportunities in North America by opening a new office in Toronto.

Though it didn’t disclose them, the agency has begun serving a number of North American clients, and CEO/founder Luke Tobin says the “time was right to invest in a more formal and actual presence in the area.” whose services include design, SEO, pay-per-click, social media, influencer and PR,

This year, the agency’s growth has also allowed it to open an office in Hamburg, Germany, though it also has remote staff working in countries around the world.

Moray Hickes was the company’s first North American hire as VP of sales, tasked with business development in the region.