Sex and Sensibilities

Sex sells! This advertisement depicts society’s continues need for common sexuality. Along with some reference to a product or service, the sexual undertones of an ad make for an excellent marketing strategy. It is an ad for Evian bottled water. The ad draws a close relationship between that which is ethereal and sexual.

The woman in the image is delicately pouring water, which emanates like a pure rainfall. The rainfall, in turn, represents universal blessing. Water is by far, the most visible blessing to all living creatures. This importance is emphatically made clear in the image by granting the angel the honor of blessing people. This message suggests that Evian water is as pure as an angel. And the angel is as pure as a virgin.

What stands out most is the woman’s stark nudity. She is, by societal standards, physically attractive. This would surely stop any reader who might be flipping through the pages of a magazine to give the ad a long stare. However, her most intimate parts are neatly covered. This sexy woman, with perfect skin, seemly curves, feather like hair and full lips, lays  seductively and gazes downward as though she were looking at a man under the droplets of heavenly rain. She is pouring water and extending her ladylike hand for a kiss from mankind. Or, maybe this act is an invitation to join her.

Like all sex symbols, this woman is a model. She is not real. At the same time, choosing a black woman is an ironic play on society’s idea of an angel, because angels are usually white. Her dark skin tone severely contrasts the whiteness of her wings, white nail polish and the cloud. Her brown color sends the message that angels are similar to human beings, and they come in all colors too. This, in turn, implies that angels love all humankind.

Her short, spiky, jet-black hair is in itself, a cultural statement of modernity and sexual deviance. Furthermore, the pink found in the background as well as her soft lips emphasizes the innocence of her angelic being. In deep pink letters the word “L’original” is printed on the top left corner of the page. Having it written in French, plays into society’s perception of elegance, class and romance. The word itself communicates the authentic and original nature of Evian water and the woman’s angelic purity.

This ad is successful because it manipulates the sensibilities of society, especially concerning sex!

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