There is an alarmingly awful series of commercial videos currently on YouTube for Summer's Eve.
For reasons of propriety I am not going to embed them in this post, but here are some links: Link #1, Link #2, Link #3.
The premise of this campaign is that your vagina (portrayed by a hand) is talking to you. Not being the proud owner of a vagina, it's hard for me to comment on the effect this campaign might have on someone who does have one. But from the verbal reaction I am getting from women, I don't think this campaign is making Summer's Eve any friends.
Here's the thing about this campaign. I'm sure the Summer's Eve people were not naive about the effect it would have. I am sure they understood that there was a significant portion of the population who would be offended by these videos, but they were willing to take the chance to get some attention.
While I think the decision was misguided, I can see how it might have paid off. It might have paid off if the campaign was funny; if it wasn't so appallingly executed; if it wasn't so poorly written and performed.
Back when I was a creative director I used to drive the people in my creative department crazy with the following criticism of their storyboards: This is not a spot. It's an idea. Now you need to make it into a spot.
What happened in this Summer's Eve travesty is that someone had an idea. The idea was that a "hand puppet" could substitute for a vagina and a vagina could talk. It's a pretty damn gross idea, but it's an idea.
In the hands of someone who could write, this idea might actually have been turned into something interesting. In the hands of the dullards who wrote and produced it, it is awful.
Regardless of what they did with it, Summer's Eve were going to offend some people. That's fine. The problem with this thing is, even the people who were not automatically going to be offended will be horrified because the writing and voice over performances are so astonishingly dumb.
Comedy is a funny thing. It's easy to be funny over lunch. It's very hard to be funny standing up in front of hundreds of people. It's the same in advertising. It's easy to have a funny idea. It's very hard to make a funny spot.
The Summer's Eve campaign had a very slight chance to be successful. It might have been successful if it was funny. It is stunningly unfunny, and as a result it is a disaster.
I don't hate this campaign because it's offensive. I hate it because it's done so witlessly.
Thanks to Sharon Krinsky for calling this campaign to my attention