Padlock IconThis article is only a portion of the full article. If you are already a premium subscriber please login. If you are not a premium subscriber, please subscribe for access to all of our content.

Published in: March-April 2008 issue.

Not Your Father’s BMW Advertisers are masters of the double-entendre, but sometimes the sexual meaning is so obvious that it’s hard to figure out what the “clean” interpretation would be. Such was the case for an ad that ran in various American newspapers this winter, a picture of a BMW with the caption “Hard Top. Firm Bottom.” (Do cars have “bottoms”?) This is what made it so odd when a spokesman for the ad agency offered a “Shocked, shocked!” response when asked about the campaign. “You’re the first person to bring it up,” said gsd&m Idea City account director Corey Platt, admitting that “I can definitely see how it can be taken that way.” Denying that they had deliberately targeted the gay audience, he then mused that this appeal was an added “bonus” in cities like Miami and L.A., where more gay men are presumably driving BMW’s these days. The clincher seems to be the phrase “It’s so L.A.” (or Miami, etc.; italics mine) that they’re pitching to a very special market. But the question remains: what could the words “hard top, firm bottom” possibly mean to a straight car buyer?

To continue reading this article, please LOGIN or SUBSCRIBE