Three Wise Guys: Erectile-Dysfunction Ads, Tissues vs. Toilet Paper, More Office Flossing

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dear Wise Guys:

My question is about the imagery used in TV ads for drugs that treat erectile dysfunction. Why do they end up showing two people in separate bathtubs, outdoors in some beautiful setting in nature? The couple could be in a meadow, in the mountains or at a beach. They also show a couple in an outdoor pool with candles floating in the water. I don't get it! What do a pool and separate bathtubs have to do with erectile dysfunction? Why are they always outdoors? Is this some kind of mysterious guy code that only men can comprehend?


Dan: I, for one, find floating candles to be very erotic.

Justin: Yeah, floating candles are hot.

Joe: Well, that's nice to know, boys, but it doesn't really answer Linda's question. For help we turned to Tom Reichert, a professor of advertising at the University of Georgia and the author of "Sex in Consumer Culture: The Erotic Content of Media and Marketing" and "The Erotic History of Advertising."

"People who advertise products having to do with sex say there's a double standard and that the networks are much tougher on them as far as what they can show," he says.

So on TV they have to imply sex rather than depict it? "Exactly. It has to be more of a veiled reference."

And all the nature scenery? "I'm sure there's a really good explanation," Reichert says. "It's got to be an obtuse metaphor for getting back to the way we naturally are, your true natural self."

Yeah, nothing quite says natural like sitting in separate bathtubs in the middle of a meadow.

Dear Wise Guys:

I'm always pinching pennies. Can you tell me if it is cheaper to use tissues or toilet paper when blowing your nose?

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