I Just Saved a Bunch of Money on Advertising By Switching to Hentai …

Admit it: you are turned on by a naked and supine Erin Esurance.I came across a link for this article on Slate tonight while checking my Hotmail account (since when is Slate owned by Micro$oft?), and found it rather interesting, being in a marketing frame of mind these days. Crossing over to the Dark Side of the Force will do that to a Fourth Estate jedi.

Anyway, if you are interested in such things check it out. I’m no expert on the field of advertising all of a sudden, and I’m sure the author of this piece probably forgot more about advertising today than I will ever learn in a year.

But it seems to me that he missed one very important point about his subject, Esurance: no publicity is bad publicity. The company’s ads with the pink-haired cartoon spy frequently don’t make sense, it’s true. I’ve caught myself more than once paying attention to them, just trying to figure out wtf is going on. But beyond that, whether the ads are “good” advertising or not, just consider the fact that advertising writers are writing columns about them … and people like me are blogging about it.

Mission accomplished.

On another note, having read in this piece about some hentai enthusiasts posting their own cartoons of said pink-haired spy, naked and performing various sex ads on the Web, I of course promptly Googled “Erin Esurance.” Not do deep down in the links, sure enough, there they were: 19 pages of naughty naked Erin Esurance. What is pictured here is the least worst of it (and that required the application of a strategic smiley in Photoshop).

Despite the fact that the creator of the Erin Esurance campaign notes that it is targeted for men, and that the character is designed to appeal to young hipster geeks, I’m guessing cartoon porn wasn’t what she had in mind. But then, no publicity is bad publicity, and it is hysterically funny. Somewhat disturbing, but funny. Geez, I thought I was twisted and had too much time on my hands …

I’d also observe that the original Japanese meaning of the word “hentai” it not what it has come to mean outside Japan, according to Wikipedia, interestingly enough.