Source: USA TODAY
The ad world’s hottest trend: hot hunks.
That’s right, sexy guys — not gals — featured in racy TV spots. It’s hunk-a-rama time in new or recent advertising from some of the nation’s biggest brands. On Monday, one more will enter the fray — Diet Dr Pepper — in a 30-second commercial with a new, shirtless hunk who, with a wink, lays claim to being the hottest of all of his hunk predecessors.
Wearing nothing but tight denims, newcomer actor Josh Button emerges from the ocean onto the sand and boasts that he is “really, really, really, really — really good looking.” The ad was created by the Los Angeles office of the ad agency Deutsch.
Behind all the heat: cool. It’s become culturally cool to feature hunky guys in ads, something even Kraft is doing with its Zesty line of salad dressing. After all, women still do most of the shopping — and advertisers are targeting them with these racy TV spots. It’s all about getting folks to first notice the ad from among all the media clutter, and then share the ad via social media.
“The idea is not to associate hot men with the brand but, rather, to get female viewers to watch,” says brand guru David Aaker.
One problem: The trend’s become a tidal wave. That’s when consumer interest tends to wane. “Seems like it’s time for a break from this approach, because the “surprise” factor is kind of used up for now,” says Allison Cohen, ad consultant and president of PeopleTalk Research.
Never mind that Dr Pepper is only too happy to jump in. That’s because, it says, it’s doing it with a wink. “We’re poking fun at ourselves and the trend of hot guys in advertising,” says Jaxie Alt, senior vice president of marketing at Dr Pepper. Even then, she adds, with a laugh, “Our guy’s the hottest.”
The company he joins:
• Salad dressing hunk. Kraft’s recent Zesty Italian dressing spot features a hunk who bares his chest when the grease from a hot skillet instantly disintegrates his shirt. Result: more than 1 million YouTube views in two months, says Karmen Conrad Sr., brand manager for Kraft dressings. One consumer even e-mailed Kraft that she’d buy it — if the “Zesty Guy” came with the purchase.
• Shaving cream hunk. Old Spice in 2010, put a shirtless man on a horse in its offbeat spot, which emerged as one of the most talked-about ads of the year and made a new career for actor Isaiah Mustafa.
• Cola hunk. A recent Diet Coke spot shows a shirtless hunk mowing a lawn while five female admirers swoon in the grass.
• Drain cleaner hunks. Liquid-Plumr got into the act with a spot for its Double Impact drain cleaner featuring a woman at the supermarket fantasizing about two ultra-hunky plumbers. She melts when one says, “I’m here to snake your drain.” And she ahs when the other adds, “I’m here to flush your pipe.”