The 10 Worst "Sexy" Vodka Ads Reveal a Lazy Addiction to Cheesecake

Last Updated Apr 7, 2010 2:13 PM EDT

The liquor business has long used sex to sell its brands, but the vodka category in particular has recently seen an overload of unoriginal advertising borrowed from the world of softcore porn.

That world is dated circa 1963, if Effen vodka's new ad campaign is to be believed. One print ad features a flight attendant -- perhaps I should call her an air hostess? -- dressed in a uniform not seen since last century, holding a bottle and a martini glass. The headline: "There's nothing more satisfying than Effen on a plane." Another shows a ski bunny with the line "nothing warms me up like Effen by the fire."

This is hilarious stuff -- if you're 13 years old. But Effen is not alone. Three Olives recently based a campaign around the theme, "Whats your O-face?" with an ad showing a woman reacting to the vodka with an unusual amount of delight.

I'm not against sexy advertising -- au contraire, bring it on. Rather, I'm against dumb advertising.

Even Absolut, which made itself the dean of the vodka advertising world with its iconic bottle campaign, has stumbled recently. It did a mortifyingly bad ad featuring Kate Beckinsale in a Princess Leia-style gold bikini for its mandarin flavor. The ad failed on two levels: There's no clear link between the chain-mail swimsuit and the flavor, and Beckinsale -- one of the great beauties of our age, if not the best actress -- was so heavily made up she was virtually unrecognizable.

And it goes without saying that men are mostly absent from vodka advertising. The drink, like the women, are objects to be consumed in the world of the top shelf.

So, in an effort to punish laziness and to deter future badvertising, here's a gallery of 10 recent lame "sexy" vodka ads. Er, "enjoy"?

    Related: Are Today's Ads More Sexist Than They Were 40 Years Ago?

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