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This week, Slate‘s Ad Report Card attempted to explain the unexplainable: The commercial for the “6 Hour Power” energy drink, which ad-grader Seth Stevenson suggests is possibly “the most sexually explicit ad ever.”
Watch the commercial here, please.
After counting down 6 Hour Power’s explicit ways (“You rarely see skirts this short or cleavage this prominent outside the confines of soft-core porn”; “At the height of his excitement, leaning back in his chair, the boss flips his necktie over his shoulder”), Stevenson lights on a more pressing concern: This ad does not make any fucking sense:
Presumably the kinetic, desk-shaking segment is a metaphor for the energy boost taking hold. But by the time the guy at last stands up and says he’s “ready,” he looks completely spent. Drained. Post-coital, if you will. To me, the arc of arousal and then satisfaction suggests the sluggish stupor that might arrive when the energy shot’s effects have worn off. Didn’t the announcer specifically tell us there’s “no crash”? Seems like a confused message. . . . Still, the ad works.
The ad doesn’t work, and here’s why: It refuses to work its sexual imagery into a visual double entendre for the product it’s selling. The point of super-sexual ads such as this one is to make the viewer think they know what’s going on—-explicit office sex!—-but then reveal it’s actually completely innocent—-consuming awesome 6 Hour Power! But the boss in the commercial couldn’t possibly be shaking from his consumption of the energy drink: You can see his face throughout, and he ain’t the one drinking something.
I can think of two scenarios by which the boss’s convulsions would actually result directly from the effects of 6 Hour Power:
1. He’s shooting 6 Hour Power intravenously beneath his desk.
2. He’s getting a contact high from the 6 Hour Power through his secretary’s mouth.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the 6 Hour Power minds were that clever. I think he’s just getting a straight blow job, which is a total waste of “the most sexually explicit ad ever.”