Three young women out clubbing count how often they get touched. A useful illustration of an important issue from this well-known brand, or cynical jumping on the bandwagon?
Founded in Switzerland in 1783, Schweppes has traditionally had the light touch in promoting its sparkling beverages: Its ‘Schhh… You Know Who’ slogan, to the sound of a bottle of tonic water being opened, was a particular hit in the 1960s and ‘70s – here’s a classic starring actor William Franklyn. The slogan caught on so well that people used it in their jokes and conversation.
More recently, the company (now part of the Dr Pepper group) returned the favour by picking up on the common phrase, ‘What did you expect?’ and applying it to some suggestive commercials with screen sirens such as Penelope Cruz and Uma Thurman.
Now, Schweppes Brazil is taking a more wired turn: In a new ad, they send three young women out clubbing wearing a specially designed dress equipped with touch sensors to count how many times the women are touched.
The result is a strong visual representation of the prevalence of harassment. However, the Schweppes ‘Dress for Respect’ commercial also raises questions.
Just getting across to the bar or over to the restroom can be a very touchy business in a popular nightspot, and it’s not specified what percentage of the touches counted were unnecessary/unwanted. A man we asked about the ad said sometimes a woman would welcome a touch – if only briefly – when there’s an attraction between the two parties.
And then, do we actually want brands to wade into the serious stuff?
“I find it distasteful when brands use a current topic to sell their products,” said one woman about the ad. “They’re just jumping on the bandwagon to get attention.”
What do you think of the commercial? Is it a useful illustration of a widespread issue, or just a bit of flashy bandwagon-jumping that won’t serve any useful purpose?