Sunday, December 10, 2017

Fifty Shades - or How Not to Sell a Washing Machine

To most people washing machines and Fifty Shades are worlds apart, but not for some copy writers. Who is the real pervert here?

Fifty Shades, bondage
Sex sells [I think], even if it is Fifty Shades

Sex sells, everybody in advertising knows, but for most people sex doesn't necessarily equal femdom. Remember that 2011 dominatrix/vodka video? After a woman kisses her husband goodbye and wishes him a pleasant day at work, the doorbell rings. All of a sudden she is transformed into this dominatrix, wearing a latex bikini, wielding her crop. Next thing you see is a man in his underwear, scrubbing the floor while feeling the pressure of her boot in his neck.

Diabolical twist: domme to others,
so she can serve him... vodka?
When hubbie comes home from work at the end of the day, she waits for him, two cocktails in hand. Duly impressed he says "wow" to which she answers "I slaved all day." Wink, wink.

In all fairness, to this day, I still don't know what brand of vodka the clip is trying to promote. So much for sex sells.

Now imagine you are a copy writer for some ad agency, trying to sell a washing machine. That's a tough one, after all it doesn't get much more boring than household appliances, now does it? Add to it the idea that art has to be weird and boring to be considered real art and you know where this is going.

This week saw Samsung screen Washing Machine — The Movie – a film of a 66-minute wash cycle, shown in just one continuous shot, with music by the legendary and Oscar-winning composer, Michael Nyman. Yes, for real.

If mistress runs out of creative punishment ideas she can always have her slave watch the washing machine clip 11 times, after which he has to write an 11 page report (single line space of course) on the meaning of it.

Samsung probably realized a one-hour film about a washing machine wasn't going to sell many appliances, so it came up with a trick: a vote on the most boring movie of all-time. They asked a number of film critics to create a list of the dullest movies of all-time for the public to vote upon. The final outcome won't surprise you: 50 Shades won with almost one-third of the people's vote. That makes sense, but not all entries do. Even though it is not my kind of movie 2001, A Space Odyssey is far from boring. Quite the contrary, in this age, where even the brightest minds are struggling to comprehend how artificial intelligence arrives at answers, it is more relevant than ever.

If you are wondering: "how did I get from washing machines to 50 Shades?", you are not alone. My guess is that vanilla people are fascinated with 50 Shades, because they cannot understand what it means to us insiders. Any good lawyer will tell you, never to ask a question you don't know the answer too. The same thing clearly doesn't apply to those who work in advertising.

The third Fifty Shades movie will be released on February 9, 2018. Like its predecessors, Fifty Shades Freed is released just in time before Valentine's Day. And yes, those in charge of marketing somehow get it wrong three times in a row.

Despite Kim Basinger - who previously starred in 9 1/2 weeks - reprising her role as Elena Lincoln in the third instalment of Fifty Shades, I still don't see any reason to buy a washing machine because of some misplaced association with Fifty Shades. Elena Lincoln was introduced in the second Fifty Shades movie as a friend to Christian's adoptive mother. Anastacia nicknamed her Mrs. Robinson, after the 1967 movie with Dustin Hoffman. Elena seduces Christian Grey at the age of 15 and introduces him to the BDSM lifestyle, being his domme for six years. On how many levels can Fifty Shades get consensual BDSM between adults wrong?

Clearly washing machines and kink have little in common. After all, a 'riel' domme doesn't have a washing machine, what else is the point in having slaves? The real question here is not why Fifty Shades is so boring, but what can you sell, using kink?

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