Sex Sells Cars (Duh!): Renault’s Twingo Ad

2010 SEMA Show Bikini Models

2010 SEMA Girl Embellishes a Ferrari

The combination of sexy girls and sexy cars has been turning on guys for many a year. Now, Renault has taken a new tack, trying to attract the ladies to its Twingo city car with a clever but, for some, racy ad. Two media outlets in Italy have banned it.

In the ad, two cuties make eyes at each other and head for the bedroom. Suddenly, just as things start to get interesting, one grabs her pink top and heads out for her pink Twingo. See what happens after the break.

One of the media outlets banning the ad is Mediaset, owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The PM, you may recall, has been involved in many a sex scandal through the years. Last month, during the political furor one such scandal caused, he remarked, “Better to have a passion for beautiful women than to be gay.”

The irony is compounded because the ad seems also to have offended certain gay groups as well—meaning it must be doing something right to irritate both Berlusconi and the gays.

What the controversy will do for Renault remains to be seen, but I will bet Twingo sales increase nicely, as the ad garners more views on YouTube and comments on Twitter than it clearly would have via the TV route.

The power of sex is used in many ways to sell cars. Some are subtle, like the appeal to women via car interiors. Others, like the testosteronic horsepower race, are not.

Playboy’s latest issue features its 2011 Car of the Year awards. There’s even a link at the bottom of the webpage to something called “Playboy Live Nude Girls,” which seems to have nothing to do with cars.

Anyhow, the Playboy picks for 2011 aren’t that surprising, except for their very odd inclusion of the Honda CR-Z (as best hybrid) and maybe the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG as Car of the Year. I saw the beast (and the GT3) in Oaxaca at one of its first unveilings, and have to say it’s just not that sexy, guys.

But it’s the association with the Playboy moniker that may in fact influence some to buy—just as the “look, don’t touch” marketing approach to sex has brought on oglers and, occasionally, car buyers for many firms over the years.

Would you be influenced by the Twingo ad, for instance, to investigate the car further?

—jgoods

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