schweppes: “sensation”.

It’s really interesting to see how a company will market itself so differently to various countries. Obviously, there are social mores and cultural values that will affect how an ad will be received. Ads that run for ages to great acclaim in Scandinavia would make most conservative North Americans completely shit their pants.

For an example of a drastic shift in cross-Atlantic advertising, we need look no further than Schweppes. Following the subtle, visual brilliance of their gorgeous slow-mo Australian spot “Burst” comes the fruit-laden psychadelic mind trip of France’s “Sensation”.

I’m not sure how something this colourfully awesome could be so weirdly bad. Drop a tab and let its technotronic waves of babealicious lust slowly wash over your genitals…

(Agency: FFL Paris. Director: Warren du Preez. Production: Stink.)

WTF? I’m all for ads that get artsy for no apparent reason, but this one just seems majorly hokey to me. Plus, I’m endlessly intrigued by how the French will use lesbionic powersex to sell pretty much anything. My favourite part is when the twins rub the bright yellow strawberry between their cheeks…

Oh, but they’re just getting stared. I guess there was some fear that perhaps the ad was too subtle and the sexy party vibe wouldn’t get across, so to really drive the point home they’ve also got a girl rubbing a carcinogenic raspberry on her lips. That’s right… rubbing berries on her lips. Have we run out of “9 1/2 Weeks” food sex clichés? All she’s missing is a pearl necklace and some clear heels.

These girls are SO HORNY! And that… makes me want soda pop? Like I said, I’m all for purely experiential ads, but I don’t get this one.

Plus, if you ever wanted to talk about subliminal imagery in advertising, I give you the following screenshot to peruse:

That’s right. It’s a vagina. It’s a big, French, Schweppes-loving vagina. And to prove it, it’s filled with three glowing Schweppes power-balls. That’s how you know this vagina loves Schweppes.

Don’t get me wrong, despite how incredibly terrible I think this ad is, the production value is totally awesome. The colours are crisp and vibrant – you can tell this is high quality shit. But there’s just something that’s so overtly sexually bizarrely weird about it. I think they might have been trying to achieve a throw-back 80s Robert Palmer “Simply Irresistible” feel of some kind, but it’s just not working for me.

Especially at the end when the embracing naked girls are swirled up into the vortex of a Schweppes bottle. Like a genie. Waiting until a guy comes and rubs off again…


  1. Lapo says:

    Hello kpriss! You are soooooo humour. About the ad: well, one can do colorful things, even after iPod ads. Kisses from Paris, France…

  2. The work of a genius, this commercial! The problem is not in the commercial. Is in the French consumer. Even the average French man is drawned into sex-anything like a butterfly towards the light. My guess is that it’s frenchwomen fault 😉 the ever sang and sough-after French women sexuality is a myth. Not only French does not apply to France’s population anymore, but whoever has an eye and cares to open it over the female population in France will see what I’m saying ;). French women are more mannish than french men 😉


  1. […] blogger at Shape+Colour explains and illustrates the subliminal sexual details that you may (or may not) have missed while watching this […]

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