Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Did You See The Bit On The Plane Wing

When that Branson guy had that Pam Anderson and was flipping her up and showing her under bits? Anyway, ain't there like a fine line between selling sex and selling using sexy images?

When he hands her the check, she whips out a digital camera to snap a picture. "Voila!" he declares, "The money shot."

Advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky spent $1 million on the faux porn film-inspired ad - one in a series of tv spots released on LodgeNet Entertainment Corp.'s Adult Desires pay-per-view service along with real porn films. In other commercials, characters with names like "Mile High," "Big Ben," and "Summer Turbulence" promote the airline's new luxury suite with double entendres such as "your first time" on board and "several inches more" leg room.

Marketers, in search of new ways to strike the nerves of their audiences, are having fun imitating pornographers. In the Virgin Atlantic case, the imitation is a cheeky parody that comes from a company owned by a notoriously ribald Brit, Richard Branson, so maybe it's not so shocking.

Yet the ad is only one example of a marketer following the lead of the adult entertainment industry in choosing media distribution channels, technology, and aesthetic content.

Putting aside judgment as to whether the content is socially healthy (or even what constitutes pornography in the first place), pornographers have been on the cutting edge of the way that people consume media. According to University of Chicago sociologist Edward Laumann's 1994 "Sex in America" survey, 23 percent of men and 11 percent of women watch x-rated movies or videos; 22 percent of men and four percent of women have visited a club with nude or seminude dancers; and 16 percent of men and four percent of women look at sexually explicit books or magazines.

Estimates on the size of the adult industry range from $8 billion to $11 billion a year, with sales and rentals of porn videos raking in some $4 billion of that, according to Adult Video News, an industry trade publication.

One day we will have faux porn TV shows with real porn commercials in between

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