The Naked Truth

I don't have a problem with nudity. I'm nude now under my pjamas. I'm guessing you are too. I found this commercial through the blog of Ben Kepes who left a comment on Rod Drury's site. Apparently it was shot in New Zealand. Ben says:

Forget the content but think of the concept in terms of how much marketing punch it packs.

But I am not so sure it is that easy. The gratuitous use of nudity or any other provocative technique is only useful when it is highly relevant. The idea behind the commercial is that the company has nothing to hide.

The curious thing is that dressing doesn't usually indicate that we are hiding anything. It is quite normal for people. We wear clothes: to keep warm, to display (ironic) and to protect ourselves from harmful elements. I am sure there are other reasons. I once wore a transformer costume to a fancy dress party and got stuck in a doorway - can't remember the purpose.

Dressing can also indicate modesty - an attribute I think you will agree is generally positive.

So,...does the commercial convey positive meanings or is it simply a gratuitous and vaguely infantile effort to attract attention (in the hope that people will pass the clip around like a virus - unpleasant analogy; given the context).

The truth is it is hard to get attention - the most valuable currency in today's marketplace (arguably), but I am not sure this is the way to go about it.

What do you think?

Warning total male and female nudity is featured in this commercial. Please do not watch if this is like to cause offence or if you are not 18 years of age. Clicking the arrow will serve as an agreement that you are at least 18 years of age.

Visit the elave site

(The embed code on the elave site doesn't work)


  1. I think it is unnecessary as it does nothing for the product or the brand that being clothed would not do. Will appeal to the peeping toms though but will turn off potential customers.
    Time will tell on the sale rate conversion vs viewing

  2. I agree that removing clothing does not imply "nothing to hide" and think elave is just trying to appeal to the curious and perverted with this advertisement. They begin by insulting my intelligence with the statement "You may be shocked to learn that some other beauty products contain chemicals that can irritate or trigger conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and even cancer.” Do they really believe I’ve been living in the dark ages and don’t know that, or do they think I will be so distracted by the naked bodies that I will allow this insult?

    The next line totally contradicts what this advertisement is showing . . . “but at elave we use only the safest, non-reactive ingredients.” The thought of naked technicians touching the product which they want me to buy and then put on my own body is disturbing. I would believe the product is safe if there was an image of white coat wearing scientist with gloved hands testing it.

    When I think of using a skin care product I think of natural, healthy ingredients which will help my body. Nothing about this ad conveys the idea of natural or healthy. The male and female bodies shown are not typical specimens with their voluptuous features and shaven areas. There is nothing natural about their appearance. They may look healthy, but how healthy is it to test products in a room full of nude people?

    I think it would be more effective to show a woman in full make-up entering the elave building and then suddenly being seen with no make-up -- there is a "nothing to hide" moment.

    It seems that advertising agencies are trying to sell products based on shock appeal rather than honestly portraying the product for what it does. A perfect example is the current Burger King ad with the three bikini clad “bimbos” who share everything. What does that image have to do with Burger King? It is simply a feeble attempt to grab the attention of half the population. I bet if you asked a typical male what the ad was for he would have no idea, and even if he remembered that it was a Burger King ad I doubt he would know what the message was (that the burgers are so large that 3 skinny girls have to share one). I seriously doubt any one of the women used for the ad would ever eat that greasy, fattening food. This type of advertising is a turn-off to at least half the population and, I would suspect, counter productive. Fortunately for me I have no men in my household so I can change the channel when the offending ad appears.

    I am not a complete prude though. I do like the ad I have seen in the past for a sausage brand which featured a nudist family at a barbecue. The ad was cleverly put together so as not to show any real nudity. The props and movement were used to carefully conceal the bodies and it got across the idea that the sausages were healthy and had no added ingredients. It even ended on a humorous note as the man tending the barbecue said he was happy that the sausages had less splatter than the other brands (lucky for his manly parts!).

    I know the slogan “sex sells” has been around for many decades, but I believe the full monty leaves nothing to the imagination, which is what makes a brand more memorable to me.

  3. Anonymous9:47 am

    oh come on! You are undoubtly a prude, you like the sausage ad becuase it shows, exactly, NO nudity. You create an example of how the ad could be better if it showed her clothed with makeup, and then without makeup. Just admit that you find unabashed nudity offensive. That's OK, that's your right. But please don't try and clothe(!) that position in a strategic argument. The existing ad is the most extreme expression of "Nothing to Hide" possible - the extemity of the expression has created controversy. I think if you trawl through cyberspace you'll find that the ad is both loved and disliked, and these poles have created a conversation around the brand, and have led to a (reported) substantial increase in sales. Now the brand is both selling and has a point of view - which would, I'm sure you'd agree, have been their end goal.


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