Miruna Codeanu

Fifty Shades of Advertising

In cappuccino on February 6, 2015 at 7:51 am

5-shades-poster-headerFifty Shades of Grey, the movie, has been having some serious marketing around it. The first trailer was launched about 8 months ago and has been seriously promoted, also becoming viral on social media. A few more trailers followed.  A few more images of Jamie Dornan shirtless. 2 weeks before its release, brands are getting in the middle of this storm and creating content around the topic. Here are 2 brands that used the hype to create their own content:

Domino’s Pizza


A few eyebrows were raised at this piece of advertising, otherwise seeming very creative. There’s a long tradition in advertising in associating food and sex: look at chocolate for example. However, some people were still in a bit of a shock with Domino’s ad. We all know and like the association between chocolate and sex. However, some foods we don’t really associate with sex. Pizza is a rather neutral type of junk food. And still, it can be sexy, when you ad melted cheese and very sexy lips. Not the case for Domino’s. The Domino’s ad features an organ: a chained tongue dressed appropriately for sexual practices in Fifty Shades of Grey. Domino’s Pizza’s ad is first of all visually disturbing, leaving any association behind. A tongue, in the way they chose to portray it is not sexy and the association with a whip, leather and chains becomes indeed a bit weird. Of course, courage in advertising is always to be appreciated. Definitely, nobody’s done that before, but is it relevant to your audience? “You are going to suffer and enjoy every moment of it”, couldn’t have referred to something extra spicy, which would have given it a whole new twist and wit but not really to a chained tongue. A chili pepper in this visual would have made the difference and definitely a less slimy tongue. This ad delivered to the Fifty Shades of Grey audience makes sense, while when delivered to the entire Domino’s Pizza target may raise eyebrows.

Trojan – lubricants an condoms brand

These guys have humor. First of all, naming your lubricants and condoms brand Trojan, second of all, this particular ad is funny, consistent with their brand. They are selling lubricants and condoms, so it makes all the sense in the world to deliver a message connected to the worldwide phenomenon that is Fifty Shades of Grey.

And a bonus, Fifty Shades of Grey using Lego, independent content:

However, I do hope Lego keep themselves from promoting irrelevant content for their brand, primarily targeted at children, and yes I am aware of the rising popularity of Lego among teenagers and the young generation. What do we learn today? No matter how nice, funny, spicy your message it has to be consistent with your brand.


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