Whether it’s appropriate or not, sex has been used to sell nearly every type of product since the beginning of advertising itself and even more so when it comes to digital advertising on the internet.

Perhaps the most effective use of sex in advertising is when combined with humour and the automotive industry has a history of using this to great effect. During the past week we’ve seen video ads from Nissan and Subaru – all tastefully done, but nevertheless using sexual imagery to brighten up an otherwise potentially dull product and attract eyeballs that wouldn’t otherwise seek out a Nissan Juke or Subaru Forester.

Sometimes when you don’t have too many clever ideas and the flash of inspiration is merely a dim glow, the adage of ‘”sex sells” can seem an easy route to follow, but does it always work?

We’ve collected together the most recent creative blockbusters, then picked out a few our favourites from the SkiddPlayer archives. Take a look (as if you had to be asked!) and then tell us what you think – did any inspire you to look more closely at the cars?

Nissan Juke – Model vs Model

A side-by-side comparison of the Nissan Juke™ and a gorgeous, scantily clad bikini model. Nissan USA launched four video ads this week featuring the lovely ‘Amber’ performing a series of comparison tests against Nissan’s newest fashion SUV.

1. Model vs. Model “Curb Appeal”

2. Model vs. Model “Agility”

3. Model vs. Model “Acceleration”

4. Model vs. Model “Aerodynamics”

Subaru Forester – Sexy Sumo, where sexy comes standard.

This one may come as something of a shock after the lovely Amber, but Subaru Canada believe the ad will grab the attention of their target buyers annd sell more… err, well we’re not entirely sure what it will sell. The Music track used is “Girls” by Peaches.

Lexus LFA – “Supercar Meets Supermodel”.

And now for the perfect antidote to Subaru’s Sumo ad.

Lexus recently joined the photoshoot for the 2011 Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue, bringing its LFA supercar along to run rings (or donuts to be precise) around supermodel Rianne ten Haken. To make it ‘really’ sexy Rianne would need to have talked about the 10 independent throttle bodies of the LFA’s Yamaha-designed engine, or that it can rev from 0-9,000rpm in 0.6 seconds when standing still..

Ken Block – MWRT 2011: all new WRC Ford Fiesta and Ken’s 2011 Schedule.

A roundup of the latest sexy car ads would not be complete without a nod to the viral-meister himself, Mr Ken Block. When Ken decides to publish his 2011 schedule of events a web page listing would be far too ordinary, instead he turns to the beautiful Monster Girls who wiggle along to a track by Rusko called “Woo Boost”. And yes that’s real snow – the video was filmed in the ski tunnel in Torsby Sweden.

Renault Clio – Va Va Voom TV commercial – with extra footage.

You may already have seen Renault’s latest TV commercial for the Clio, but this is an extended behind-the-scenes version with considerably more of Burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese (and Thierry Henry for the ladies). Renault chose to revive the ‘Va Va Voom’ strap-line in its latest Clio ads set in a contemporary art exhibition and featuring music from David Bowie, Clare Maguire and Rihanna’s latest single ‘S&M’.

It’s certainly one of the most sexy ads in recent years, but does it have you checking out Renault’s website for a local dealer or a copy of Timeout magazine for the next Rihanna or Dita Von Teese performance?

Chevy Camaro Commercial – Miss Evelyn.

This is more about sexual innuendo than anything particularly sexy, but Chevy’s Miss Evelyn super bowl commercial is undoubtedly using the imagery of a sexy female who can drive hard as the lure to gain a viewers attention. And it worked, the ad has already collected over 1.5 million views online with more that 100 million watching it on TV.

The twist at the end as she’s revealed to be a teacher, can either be seen as a humorous piece of irony or a nod to the vivid imagination of male viewers seeing a beautiful woman overcoming the power of the beastly 426 hp Camaro.

Mercedes-Benz: Trailer for ‘Speed Date’.

A beautiful woman, a beautiful roadster and you get to play the leading roles in ‘Speed Date’, the interactive road movie featuring the new SLK. The trailer uses plenty of sexual innuendo and suggestiveness to encourage viewers to visit the SLK microsite and play the game.

Romanian Car Insurance Commercial, ‘Girls insured’.

You can always trust the East-Europeans to push out the boundaries on the use of women in automotive ads. This particular commercial entitled, ‘Girls insured’, provides a series of handy tips on what to do in a car accident for Romanian insurance company RCA Asigurare. Someone forgot to include a car in the advert though..

From the Archives

You’ve seen the best sexy ads produced during the past month, but here are a few more from our archives worthy of a mention. If you’d like to see more, then take a browse through the 1400 video commercials in our Adverts Channel on SkiddPlayer.

Renault – The new Twingo Miss Sixty.

The following ad was banned from TV shortly after it was launched in Italy – you won’t need me to tell you why..

Nissan Pathfinder – Independent Suspension Demo.

Sometimes you really need a visual metaphor to explain the technical intricacies of a new development, …and sometimes you’re all out of ideas on how to advertise a truck and think “..let’s just go for some boobs.”

Ford StreetKa – Kylie Ad.

The sexual innuendo in this Ford ad, produced by Wilder Films in the UK, should provide inspiration to advertisers looking to add a bit of spice to their automotive ads. It’s a multi-award winner and made a huge difference to the StreetKa being perceived as something more just than a dumpy Ford Ka with its roof chopped off.

Toyota – Cool Nipples.

An 1999 advert created for Toyota Brazil to advertise the virtues of air conditioning in the Toyota Corolla

Alfa Sportwagen – Featuring Catherine Zeta Jones.

The perfect example where sexual suggestiveness in a car advert complements the main message – Alfa built a more practical 156, called it the Sportwagen and then advertised it as a sexy addition to the range, rather than merely a humdrum family estate.

Dutch Car Wash – Call Me.

There’s pleny of humour in this advert for a Dutch telephone directory service, using a sexy car wash to show the value of good information..

VW Golf R32 – Beautiful Chassis.

Hilarious German advert for the Golf R32 where in the midst of lovemaking the guy makes the classic mistake of mentioning another’s name, only it’s not another women he whispers, instead it’s his Golf R32: [SHE] “What?”, “Rev Counter?”, [HE] “Yes. I mean no! No!”, “No, I didn’t mean that!”, [SHE] “Sure”.

2010 Honda CBR600RR – Pure Thrust.

If you thought only car advertisers could be a bit risqué, then spare a thought for the bike makers who’ve being doing so for years. This one is intended to advertise the Honda CBR600RR but is about as condescending and sexist to women as it gets. Use of the Prodigy track, “Smack my bitch up”, makes even our Romanian Insurance ad look subtle…

Bennetts Bikes Insurance Advert.

Unapologetically sexist advert for the specialist bike insurer, Bennetts. Charlotte and Stephanie from the Bennetts Babes 2010 squad team up with celebrity model Lucy Pinder to create the Bennetts Babes Bikini Bike Wash video with the lucky bike being Yamaha’s 2010 R1.

Smart – Mermaids on the Rocks.

Ahh, the classic Mermaid-themed ad, every man’s dream but somehow we’re supposed to prefer a Smart ForTwo instead.

Mercedes E-Class 4Matic – Not in this weather.

An all-time classic that shows how it should be done – racy and intelligent, all in a single 47 second ad.

Porsche Carrera – It Pulls.

Just to prove that risqué ads are not the exclusive preserve of the ordinary mass-producer brands. Porsche made this ad to show us chaps the effect that a 911 Carrera has on sexy woman. As if we didn’t already know…

Written By

Steve Davies

Steve is an investor, private equity advisor and former Partner at KPMG, PwC and Bain.   Most importantly he's a life-long car enthusiast, mountain biker and active sports enthusiast. He designs and builds technology platforms and is the architect behind Transmission.

More from this author

Try These Next

Stories we think you'll enjoy

Privacy Preference Center

%d bloggers like this: