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I’ll Have the Double Entendre with Extra Innuendo

June 16, 2009

With the economy in the crapper, lots of companies are resorting to not-so-subtly suggestive, unnecessary, and in some cases completely unintentional double entendres.  We all know that sex sells, but should it sell, say, plumbing products?

Many of these ads are admittedly single entendres—recall almost every Carl’s Junior/Hardee’s ad in the last few years: Paris Hilton swabs a car while deep-throating a Spicy BBQ Burger, Padma Lakshmi sensually devours a Western Bacon Thickburger, and some hot chick molests a Six Dollar Burger while riding a mechanical bull.  However, the goal is unclear: am I being manipulated into purchasing these burgers by subconsciously associating them with gorgeous women, or am I to believe that for six dollars I can lick bacon-infused ketchup from Padma’s leg?  I will pay six dollars for that.  With Paris?  The price would have to be negotiable.

But if you want a bit more nuance with your food, you can order a “Hot and Ready Party Starter” from Little Caesar’s, which is either a pizza or a cosmetology-school student/escort working an investment banker’s Christmas party.   Also, if you’re famished and haven’t had a good man in a while, you can grab a $5 Yum-Rocket from Subway or a Toasty Torpedo from Quiznos.  With the Quiznos ad, you even get a glowing oven that calmly and creepily tells the sandwich purveyor to “put it in me”.  When that phrase was considered too suggestive, it was altered to “Dave, I’m ready for it,” a change in degree only.

Food and sex have always gone well together (remember Juicy Fruit?  “Take a sniff, pull it out, the taste is gonna move you when you pop it in your mouth”), and beer and cigarette ads have always sexed up their products.  But why should they have all the fun?  What if you’re hot-to-trot AND you have a giant turd stopping up your toilet?  Well, tiger, just lay some cash out for Liquid Plumr’s Foaming Pipe Snake, “a heat-seaking missile for your clog”.  And don’t forget about cosmetics like Almay Extension i-Color, which “makes brown eyes browner” (though they’re going against the grain, with the popularity of sphincter bleaching).  Or how about Dove nectarine and white ginger Body Wash, which promises “a burst of juicy goodness to drench your skin in fresh moisture,” and whose commercial features a frontal shot of a bottle slowly dripping liquid from a dark hole, and a nice, soft and sweet v-shaped wedge being taken from a nectarine.  Damn, maybe I’m reading more into this than I should.

I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on these ads.  After all, marketing’s entire raison d’etre is to sell product, no matter how it’s done.  So make sure you and your friends all read The Brown Tweed Society, and let us cram our turgid sentences into your steaming think-meat.

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