Collection: Sex Sells
Tobacco companies know as much as anybody that "sex sells," and they have no qualms with making use of phallic symbols or with objectifying women to sell their products.
Blu, the leading brand of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs), placed an advertisement for its product in February 2014. The ad featured the Blu logo front and center on an itsy bitsy bikini bottom of a shapely model. On the online version of the ad you could even zoom in on the picture. You don’t see the woman’s face only her belly button to her legs. Accompanying the ad was the slogan “Slim. Charged. Ready to Go.” The obvious sexual reference of the slogan is hard to miss. Blu also sponsored parties at Playboy’s top party schools that allowed partygoers to meet the Playmates. Playboy itself got into the act by creating its own Playboy e-cigs. Some of the ads for the Playboy e-cigs with the trademarked bunny symbol advertised free condoms with the purchase of the vapor device.
Phantom Smoke is a brand that in their advertising is shameless in its objectification of women. Many of the ads feature skimpily clothed women in subservient positions to men. An ad for PhatomSmoke has a woman suggestively sitting in the bathtub with the e-hookah between her teeth. Her lingerie is carelessly discarded on the rim of the bathtub. In another ad, a woman wearing racy black lingerie is on the floor holding onto an out stretched leg of a man sitting on a couch with an e-cig in his hand. An ad for Krave e-cigs has a woman dressed in a bodysuit sitting on a side of a sofa her legs slightly apart as she gazes towards the viewer.
Other tobacco ads exploit the "sex sells" market through innuendo and subliminal messaging. Many ads use phallic imagery.
Apart from online and print advertisements that exploit sex to sell the product, online videos are replete with sexual innuendo. An online video for Blu exploits sex to promote a cessation message. An ad for VIP e-cig featured a sultry-looking woman saying: "I want you to get it out. I want to see it. Feel it. Hold it. Put it in my mouth. I want to see how great it tastes." The online and TV ad, which ran in Britain, attracted 937 complaints about its "overtly sexual" tone.