It’s hard to believe that the now infamous ‘Nipple-Gate’ incident of Super Bowl XXXVIII happened over a decade ago. During that time, every media outlet across the country focused their attention on outraged American’s talking about how immoral it was to see a bare breast on national television.
For weeks on end, we were treated to a bevy of talking heads who provided endless commentary and analysis on how this so-called wardrobe malfunction exposed innocent citizens to the wicked allure of sex. Instead of being a teachable moment that shit happens on live TV—the message was to keep your tits and nipples covered or be shamed!
Across the pond, however, Nipple-Gate was a nonstarter. People were surprisingly unfazed by Janet’s mammary gland. Many just shrugged it off and went about their daily lives, while other’s were simply confused about all the hubbub. How could two [relatively similar] cultures be so diametrically opposite when it comes to seeing nudity on television? A vast number of Europeans believe sex is natural, and if you’ve seen one, you’ve basically seen them all.
The European attitude toward sex is more laissez-faire. They view sex as a healthy and natural act that can be discussed as easily as the weather or brushing their teeth. For them, it’s not some dirty deed to be done in the dark, nor is it a filthy F-word, or a huge secret you keep to yourself. And for anyone who has traveled to Europe can attest, sex is everywhere. All you have to do is turn on the television, open a newspaper, or ride the subway. Their explicit message is sex happens—so, why not have fun with it in advertising?
Instead of veiling sex behind a bunch overt hidden messages, European companies directly promote pleasure by getting the point across in entertaining ways. So, for your delight and amusement, here are a few examples that will hopefully put all the nipple-phobia to bed.
Sweden: Kink Awareness
This PSA is a unique way of communicating that golden showers are A-Okay.
England: Agent Provocateur
VS may have their Angels, but this high-end lingerie company has famous singers riding mechanical bulls.
Denmark: Do it for Ma
With a significant birthrate decline, this Danish PSA encourages parents to send adult kids on holiday.
Europe: Travel and Tourism Incitement
With all of the sexy art and culture throughout Europe, it’s not wonder why people have a healthier view on sexual adventures.
Germany: Dirty Sprite
There is no need to explain this titillating commercial. We find it rather refreshing on so many levels.
Romania: Insured Girls
Germany: Killer Lingerie
There’s no secret what drives the women who wear this lingerie.
Spain: Voting is a Pleasure
Hey, instead of all the political mudslinging, why not try a sexier approach? Just imagine our general election voter turnout.
Australia: Get Naked
From time to time, ads like these do get banned. However, it still gets the viral attention it deserves.
England: Anne Summers
Of course, for a company selling sex toys, pushing boundaries is all part of the fun. From an artistic point-of-view, we think this clever ad unifies all of us. Who doesn’t enjoy a bean-flicking good time?