We love a good commercial here at Cinema Blend, whether it’s a hilarious good one, a hilariously bad one, or even a fake one. But every once in a while, in creeps a commercial that goes the extra mile in the wrong direction, like the one below for the Kazam Tornado smartphone, which was just banned in the U.K. for objectifying women.
While there’s no mystery behind the advertising approach of “Sex Sells,” this commercial is really rather ridiculous. We get shot after shot of a gorgeous woman in her underwear, doing things like rubbing a finger down her cleavage and staring at herself in the mirror, all as a build-up to the reveal of the Tornado, which is being touted as the “world’s slimmest phone.” So slim that it was forgotten inside the pocket of the shirt she just ironed. Are we supposed to believe that this is an iron-proof phone?
According to The Guardian, the ad-approving Clearcast initially gave the commercial the go-ahead, with the restriction that it only play during programs that children wouldn’t be watching. (Because objectifying people’s bodies is just fine for adults, I guess.) But the Advertising Standards Authority stepped in and dropped the hammer, calling it out for its hyper-sexual suggestiveness and banning it outright. Their further reasoning:
Additionally, this was heightened by the suggestive nature of the music and voiceover and further reinforced because the focus on the woman bore no relevance to the advertised product.
I honestly thought that the phone’s slimness was going to have something to do with the woman’s slimness, and I don’t even know if that would have been better or worse than what we see. Kazam’s defense was reportedly that the ad was tongue-in-cheek and played on something that many people do: ironing a shirt in one’s underwear. I know I can’t iron without first rubbing my hand slowly down a staircase bannister in a super-cool house/apartment.
You knew what you were doing with all of that steam, Kazam. Come on!
It doesn’t seem likely that this ad would get banned in the U.S., where companies like GoDaddy have been using boobs and doomed puppies to promote web domain sales for years. But if an ad has Waka Flocka Flame hinting at weed or Paul Stanley grossing people out over Foldger’s coffee, then watch out. We just can’t tolerate that here.