Ads for Lube Manage to Arouse Interest and Satisfy TV Bosses

K-Y Campaign From Mother Reminds Us No One Wants a Bore-gasm

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Advertising often gets accused of inventing problems that aren't really problems in order to sell us stuff we don't really need. Static cling and dishwasher spots, for instance.

Of course, if you've ever experienced the horror of having your trouser hem ride up on your socks, perhaps you wouldn't be so dismissive. As for dishwasher spots, well, if you and the missus are having the boss and his wife over for dinner, and your crystal is spotted, shouldn't someone be beaten? Or at least deeply shamed? ("I just lost my chance of heading up the Jenkins account! Thanks a lot, honey. Also, the Whip 'n' Chill was runny.")

So let's just admit that a problem doesn't have to be World Hunger to be a problem. On the issue of unnecessary-ness, you can probably make stronger arguments against deodorant, which actually managed to alter a social norm. But, here again, if you've ever been in a taxi in Eastern Europe, you don't think about marketing's influence on social norms. You think: Get Slobodan some Right Guard.

This brings us to orgasm.

Some people say, "What's to improve?" This is a narrow and parochial view.

Granted, in its raw form, orgasm isn't bad. But who can be so arrogant as to think that nature's Pop Rocks couldn't stand a little enhancement here and there? Think about it. Water is good, but "sports water" is so much better -- because IT HAS EXTRA STUFF IN IT. Duh.

And don't be all, "Isn't that gilding the lily?" A lily is pretty; a lily covered with gold is covered with gold. Obviously it is more valuable, and therefore obviously prettier. Use your heads, people.

So the campaign for K-Y Yours & Mine from Mother, New York, certainly grabbed our attention. Nobody wants a bore-gasm, so the scientists at the K-Y company have used their microscopes, beakers and what-have-you to make the climax or peak of sexual pleasure, which occurs during sexual activity and which in males may include ejaculation and in females vaginal contractions, less ho-hum. One tube for him, one tube for her, and together ... the ultimate bonding experience!

Exactly like epoxy, only without the annoying wait.

OK, here's another problem: The puritanical bosses of TV are uncomfortable with straightforward description of physical sensations associated with the s-word. So, for example, nobody in the commercials can say "Say! There's a tingling in my vagina!" or even "Tastes good, too!" This required the agency to be somewhat oblique, even coy, in the he-she dialogue in three video spots. But necessity is the Mother, New York, of invention, so each of the spots portrays the obliqueness as a function of the characters' own awkwardness on the subject.

One spot is about an urban power couple, one about a (previously) repressed English couple (interesting aside: evidently Britons have s -- ) and a third about a sheepish Midwestern guy and his totally upfront, comfortable-in-her-own-skin slut of a wife. The guy is just so adorably embarrassed even just talking on national TV about slathering "sports lubricant" on his penis that you just want to hug him.

In each ad, when they finally allude to their orgasmPLUS, there is a one-second cutaway to an old black-and-white movie, in which a couple dancing or singing has just reached a crescendo. And it is at precisely that point in each spot that you realize, "Hmmm, a better mousetrap?"

Remember, there was a time when spotted glassware was deemed, like malaria, to be an intractable proble�m. But it has been eradicated. If the product stimulates genitalia as well as this campaign will stimulate trial, look out, K-Y. The world will grease a path to your door.

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