Nudity has been used for sales since the snake used a naked Eve to get Adam to take a bite of that apple.
This fact led me to wonder: How do advertisers use nudity when they’re selling to seniors?
Let’s consider the over-50 male.
There are ads that show men over 50 with an exposed chest. But the emphasis will be on his tight abs and six-pack as he is exercising on high-tech equipment. Any clothing he is wearing will be tight fitting to show off his rippling muscles and rock-solid legs. Or he might be shown running a marathon, climbing Mt. Everest, or swimming across the icy Atlantic while towing a barge. The implied message is “If you want this body, buy what I’m selling.”
If there’s a woman over 50 in an ad, the focus will usually be on the face – alluring, dazzling, and perfectly lit.
To give the “I’m a mature woman” signal, she will have grey hair or, better yet, grey highlights. The message is, “If you want your face to remain as smooth as a baby’s bottom, buy what I’m selling.”
Once the ads start showing an older woman below the chin, you can be sure she will have perky, gravity-defying breasts and tight-fitting clothes. She will be lying flat on her back lifting large weights with her firm legs, playing a smashing game of tennis, or twisting into yoga positions as if her bones were made of rubber.
It is these faux 35-year old bodies that pass for acceptable nudity in advertising for older adults.
For most geezers, of course, when we look at our naked bodies in the mirror (not that we do that too often) we see (if we stop to put on our glasses) wrinkles, skin which is in a losing battle with gravity, a bit of thickness in places we don’t want it to be, and the bumps, bruises, and scars of still being alive. In real life, this is called “normal aging.”
I say let the advertisers show normal aging geezers.
If advertisers were willing to show normal mature nude bodies think of the benefits they could achieve.
- Baby boomers will say, “Oh, my God. Is that what I’m going to look like?” and buy any product, diet, or exercise plan being sold.
- For older people who are shocked by the reality of it, the plastic surgery business will boom.
- For those senior men and women turned on by the nudity, sales of all bedroom and sex-related products will grow.
The closest any advertiser has come to actually showing nude older people (in the U.S., that is) was a car manufacturer that showed nude balloonists (waist up, anyway). I thought it was funny without being demeaning.
Maybe that ad is a small door opening to the acceptance of normal senior citizen nudity. I know we’ll have broken the barrier when there’s a geezer production of “Hair” and no one runs out of the theatre.
The 30-second Honda commercial, which shows real senior males, from the waist up, for about 3 seconds, is below.