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Will Dudes in Undies Win the Female Consumer?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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One thing is clear. Many organizations whose target is the female audience are "hunkifying" their ads. 

The trend is an interesting one, because it is showing a shift in our society. It is showing the purchasing power of the female consumer. It is showing that it is okay to note male sexual appeal to women.

Or, maybe brands are just trying something different. The reasons abound.

While looking further into this topic, several sources said that this "hunk era" started with Old Spice's Isaiah Mustafa. Who could forget the "Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign? And they're right; not only was the spot featuring a masculine man, but it did have issues women usually dreamt of in a man. On the flip side, what man wouldn't want the confidence, style, and appearance of the Old Spice Guy?

So let the appropriation begin.

On the main stage of AdLand — the Super Bowl — we saw Calvin Klein going straight to sex appeal with its "Concept" ad featuring Matthew Terry. Terry's body was compared to a machine, showing gears in between, and how the human body too could produce torque and be filled with power. Terry also posed like a Gladiator; some could also think of Atlas, the Greek Titan known for his godly strength. The question here is, does CK believe that women will buy this for their men, or would men buy this to be their woman's "man-machine"?



Next we have Diet Coke. Yes, the Diet Coke that has nearly taken over the female population. Diet Coke is celebrating its 30th birthday, and to do that, it is bringing back one of their own "hunk" ads from nearly two decades ago. It could be said that Diet Coke was the forerunner in all of this, and is coming back to play its own game. The ad is a scene both genders can relate to: we've all had that gardener, whether it was a neighbor or a worker outside the office, who we stopped and watched. Diet Coke only changed the scene, and kept the same soundtrack from 19 years ago. This is running in the UK, but we're sure it'll hit the states too.



Last and certainly not least, we have the H&M David Beckham Bodywear ad. This is a short film, done by Guy Ritchie, and it takes a barely clothed Beckham running through the neighborhood in underwear that doesn't crinkle or bunch. It moves with him. The short film is good, but we only have one critique: Beckham doesn't have that kind of speed anymore. Come on, give it up.



It is very interesting that ads here don't seem to objectify the male body, but celebrate it. Perhaps AdLand should take note of it and apply that concept to both genders. 


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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