CHUPA CHUPS

Why do you suppose I enjoy looking at the visuals in this campaign—because (1) they offer edgy, ironical commentary on the objectification of women inpre-feminist advertising or (2) they offer scantily clad babes in salacious poses? My thanks to all of you (anyone at all?) who selected answer (1). The sordid truth, of course, is that we lads will cheerfully put up with postmodern schtick if cheesecake visuals can make a comeback under its guise. The text here isn’t particularly clever. And the recurring slogan—”Smart mouth you got there”—has an air of trying too hard. But so what? For men, at least, the series establishes a link between sensual pleasure (of one sort or another) and these Chupa Chups confections. What of the campaign’s female readers? (The media schedule includes women’s magazines as well as male and gender-neutral venues.) Some will take the ads’ sensibility as an homage to the “girlie” persona that’s gained adherents among 20something women. Still, they’ll be more likely than men to see the campaign’s humor as a lackluster afterthought.