In the past, ads which have “won” Sexist Piggy Awards have been largely commercial in nature: scantily-clad women draped over cars or propping up chainsaws or other power tools. While this remains true even now, participants and the jury in this year’s sixth inception noted that exploitative motifs had surfaced in the field of politics. This year’s “winner” is none other than a local branch of the Social Democratic Party, while a student-produced ad for a university, featuring sex in a public restroom, came second.
Sex sells and although some ad makers work with sensual motifs carefully ie. not in an exploitative manner, it is obvious that some will always stoop to the lowest denominator. This year, members of the public chose as the most sexist ad a political advert by the Zlín branch the Social Democratic Party, showing a naked women waist-down, her hand covering herself: the slogan invites young voters to “not be ashamed” of voting for the party, noting that there is “a first time” for everyone.
A fifteen-member jury, including experts on marketing and public communications opted for another ad as the absolute winner, this one also by a political party, the otherwise “conservative” TOP 09, whose local branch in Zlín opted for a photo of a woman’s behind in thong underwear, her cheek stamped with the party logo. That ad was accompanied by text saying that the party was “always in the right place”. Members of the jury charged that besides being demeaning, the ad also lowered the level of political discourse.
The most surprising ad, in terms of unabashed sexism, however, is arguably a student-produced clip for, but not sanctioned by, the Silesian University in Opava. The clip is about “a new guy on campus”. Over the course of the video, the camera follows the protagonist as he makes eye contact with girls on the grounds, in the hallways, in the library, while the last shot switches to him having sex with a young woman in the university bathrooms. The slogan there? “Where new ideas are born”.
Jury member Pavel Horňák, who teaches marketing in Bratislava, said the erotic humour of the slogan and the scene “bordering on porno” clashed sharply with the calling of the institution itself. Others on the social networks, made the point that the ad, however, had succeeded, noting sarcastically “who had ever heard of the Silesian University in Opava?”.
The ad, which went viral on the net, was part of a contest which commissioned student productions to best represent the school. The university later cancelled the project, with some sources citing the controversial video as the probable reason.