By: Takara Small
It’s a universal truth that sex sells. Regardless of what profession you’re in or university degree you’re pursuing everyone knows that in the advertising world, sex is used as the cheapest and simplest way to sell a product. But what happens when the old adage “sex sells” is applied to a serious topic like breast cancer? Well, you may end up with something like Rethink’s new controversial breast cancer commercial that has boys drooling and tongues wagging from coast to coast.
The organization known for its inspirational and unique PR techniques launched their awareness campaign with a new mandate—to get men and a younger generation involved in the fight against the deadly disease. Instead of serious and informative ads, the company elected to go in a different direction. The new advertisements, which have quickly become fan favourites on network sharing sites like Youtube, include men molesting their wannabe breasts and MTV Canada host Aliya-Jasmine Sovani, strutting around a pool in a revealing bathing suit while men AND women gawk at her bosom.
Now first time viewers watching the ad may be confused as to how close up shots of Sovani’s cleavage and fit body have to do with breast cancer. It’s only at the end of the one-minute clip does the audience become aware that this isn’t some beer ad but an important issue meant to illicit a serious conversation.
This shameless promotion is just a cheap ploy to get the average person talking about breast cancer. Fortunately, this short sighted gamble worked, the commercial is everywhere and has even been translated into three different languages online. But, it seems the topic of conversation for people our age isn’t about the disease but about the sexual visuals. Rethink was successful in generating awareness through its use of exposure, however it did it in a way the masses may not take seriously.