Nothing is sexier than a man in a suit. In fact, when I’m in a room full of women and just one man is wearing a well-tailored suit, I am compelled to remove my clothing and engage in a spontaneous pool party. Something about men in suits just gets me all TITS OUT FOR THE BOYS.
No one knows this better than SuitSupply, the Dutch menswear clothing line. Their whole sales pitch takes “sex sells” to another level. Their newest ad campaign features wet, nude women…and somewhere amid the Playboy-like spread, you can see a man in a suit. Their website allows you to browse without nipples, but provides you an option to “view uncensored.” If your entire marketing strategy is too explicit to show to the public, we’ve got a problem.
I’m not exactly opposed to sexy or edgy ads. I’m not even opposed to nudity. But it’s very hard to argue that women aren’t being objectified here. Like, they’re literally objects that the models are posing with, and it’s gross.
SuitSupply posted an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit to accompany the new campaign, and Cosmopolitan caught some of the action before the posts were deleted. No one but SuitSupply is surprised that there was serious backlash:
“Is there a plan to stray from the current oversexed marketing scheme? I’ve got to be completely honest and say that as good as your products may be I refuse to purchase from a company that decides to use [these] ad campaigns.” — hybridanimal
“I think I’m offended because they think I’m stupid enough to buy a suit from them just because they showed me tits. Sure, “sex sells”, but at this point I think they are degrading their own product. It seems like they forgot that quality products sell too.” — falgfalg
“In a marketing campaign targeted exclusively at men, there’s a fully clothed guy surrounded by frolicking naked women. In what way are these women not being depicted as objects?” — kwanon
Past ad campaigns are just as gross.
But people are paying attention, so I can’t say it’s not working.