Sex has been used to sell for decades, but in recent years, some companies have really cranked up the raciness in their ads, raising a lot of controversy. That's the whole point of ads though; if it gets people talking, it's doing exactly what it's meant to be doing: raising brand awareness.
The latest in buzzworthy ads is the new Equinox Fitness ad campaign, "Happily Ever." One image features a group of nuns (one revealing a sexy garter!) sketching a still life portrait of a very chiseled, naked model who looks much like Michelangelo's David. Judging by their facial expressions, they're quite amused by the features of their manly muse.
Not so amused, however is the Catholic church.
"It says a great deal about this perverse obsession in both the fashion industry and the advertising industry of exploiting and mocking and sexualizing Catholic religious imagery," C.J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts said.
What does Equinox have to say?
"Our ad campaigns are based on personal motivation and fantasy and throughout history the body has been considered a form of art."
Other Equinox print ads can be seen in the gallery including one with four beautiful women at an outdoor swimming pool, one being fed grapes by a sculpted, speedo-clad man, the others posing in bikinis, their faces and bodies covered in pre-plastic surgery markings. Another image is of a kinky fantasy, the story for which is explained in the attached video.
In it, a well dressed man goes to his yoga class. As the hunk makes his way through the city, he catches the attention of two gorgeous young women who begin to follow him to the Equinox gym, and then back to his house post class. From there, things get really twisted.
Watch it, maybe it's your thing, maybe it's not.