Tasteful or Tasteless? Ads that use sex to sell cars

Interesting | May 1st, 2011 by 15
nissan amber

Sex sells. It has been proven over and over again, and it is used across many industries and advertising mediums. But when do you cross the line? When “too much” or “too revealing” becomes uncomfortable and the expected results are quite the opposite?

The fellows at SkiddMark compiled a list of video ads that use sexual imagery or references used by automakers to increase the marketing effect of their products. The ads are certainly PG13, a term used commonly in the US, but we know that European regulations are a little less loser, so we wonder if the line will be crossed in the future.

Let’s have a look at a few of them.

nissan amber
Nissan Juke – Model vs Model

Simply a side-by-side comparison between the new Nissan Juke and a bikini model, Amber.

Lexus LFA – “Supercar Meets Supermodel”.

The LFA comes with high premium tag and the Japanese automaker believed using supermodels will enhance the exclusiveness of their new car. 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.

Ken Block – MWRT 2011: all new WRC Ford Fiesta

Ken Block found an interesting way to promote his 2011 WRC schedule. Along with the new WRC Ford Fiesta, Ken teams up with the beautiful Monster Girls to tell us “this will be an amazing year.”

Renault Clio – Va Va Voom TV commercia

Burlesque dancer Dita Von Tees goes the extra mile to promote the Renault Clio. 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’.

A little too much? Not sure, but this is without a doubt the most sexy automotive ad we have seen in years.

VW Golf R32 – Beautiful Chassis

This one gets thumbs up for actually being quite funny.

Porsche Carrera – It Pulls

From the archive, we have a TV ad coming from Porsche to promote their new 911 Carrera. But the ad came with a beautiful woman as well….the result…

For more videos, please see the article at SkiddMark.

So nothing from BMW? Well, for a conservative company, they did push the envelope a few years back, but in a form of a print ad.

bmw ad copyranter 655x888

But from what we know, that’s about as sexy as it gets for the Munich folks.

Let’s hear your opinions in the comments section below.

15 responses to “Tasteful or Tasteless? Ads that use sex to sell cars”

  1. John says:

    I say ridicules and should be much more controlled. BMW did have some more sexual adds but this printed one above is my favorite and i do say not too pushy and sexual as the rivals, thanks god the people at BMW have some dignity.

  2. I don’t think it’s that serious at all. All the commercials were pretty funny. Not one of them seem like they’re try to be classy. For the most part they were honestly purposeful. The only ones that seemed unnecessary and over the top were the “Ken Block – MWRT 2011: all new WRC Ford Fiesta” and “Renault Clio – Va Va Voom TV commercial”.

    All in all point, not that serious!

  3. Danealradcliff says:

    they also know that their cars are not that good and are not going to bought by anyone that’s why they are using these

  4. David says:


    Honestly, when I see sex being used to sell something I make it a point NOT to buy that product. I find it insulting to assume I am stupid enough to run out and buy something simply because a sexy advertisement was used. I mean, come on!!!

    • Mauro says:

      I think the point here is to be funny. When I watch the porsche ad with the woman and the car reaction, it makes me smile, that’s all it does. Nobody thinks you’re gonna bye a car watching is commercial, the commercial meaning is to get you interested in the car, get you going on their website looking for infos and photos, that’s it.

  5. VCM says:

    Tasteless!!!! Keep your dignity BMW – be the best DON’T follow the rest!!

  6. Paul Michnea says:

    Da Horatiu, Truong Giang , are dreptate

  7. I’d choose a woman than any japan piece of dump almost-car-looking-crap.

  8. Gray says:

    Hmm i personally dont mind these ads i find it funny that they try to impress us with shots of insanely hot women around their cars for me its just a decent ad among the many ….. many crappy ads we see everyday at least i have something to look at in these but,  yes as most of you have said we are not that stupid to run out and buy a car cause of a pretty women in the advert lol. For me they can keep rolling these ads they are better to look at than some stupid ad with a family having a sing along i mean come on !

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