Unrealistic Underwear Advertising

Unrealistic Underwear Advertising

This topic transpired a bit from a comment my wife made a little bit ago. She’s made it before and I’ve thought the same thing in the past. It is both in men’s and women’s underwear advertising. Why are we doing underwear advertising with photos of models dressed in ways and in places that aren’t typical of underwear wearing.

The example my wife commented on was a model in her underwear wearing matching neon yellow high top shoes. Another one was several models in their underwear outside. I’m thinking it was in a field, but it was a place you wouldn’t be in your undies with your friends. I’ve seen plenty of ads in places outside you wouldn’t be just wearing your underwear. Earlier today it was a guy in his underwear with a vest, hat, and boots sitting on rocks fishing. Anyone really do that? Yeah, I’ve seen Bear Grylls strip down to his underwear to try and keep his clothes dry when crossing frigid water. If there wasn’t cameras he probably would have gone nude. Though thinking he may have done that in an episode. I’m not a fan of these unrealistic ads. Maybe if they are for promoting a feature or name of the pair then that would be fine.

My biggest pet peeve with underwear advertising is photos at the beach. Why are they promoting wearing underwear at the beach. It’s especially annoying with pairs that are obviously just underwear. I see enough underwear sticking out of swim shorts at the beach I don’t need to see underwear advertising done on the beach.

If it isn’t just going to be shots in a studio then I want to see real world situations. Ergowear had some good male and female shots lounging around the house. A photographer I’ve been a fan of that has done work for the brand Dietz is Bikkio Photo on twitter. He’s done photos like shaving in the bathroom, which I do in my underwear. Others that come to mind, he’s done are reading on the couch, checking a smartphone in the house, and working in the kitchen. Also he’s done some great swimwear shots at pools. I’m sure there are other examples, but those are what come to mind.

Am I alone on this? What things bother you with the current advertising for men’s and/or women’s underwear or swimwear?

9 Responses

  1. John says:

    I can’t say that seeing underwear photo shoots in not ordinary places bothers me. It’s an artistic expression and is designed to convey a mood. I find it kind of exciting to see what they come up with and think “would I do that?” I think from a marketing standpoint it sticks in your mind more. If you continually saw these ads in places that were day to day like shaving, etc. you wouldn’t really think twice. Put a model on a subway in crazy shoes and underwear? Makes you look twice.

    • The Bottom Drawer says:

      Good points from a marketing perspective to try and grab the attention. I guess I’m not an artistic type person. I relate better to putting myself into the situation and I wouldn’t be able to do that with your subway example! Mainly I just care about getting an idea of how the pair looks over anything else. That goes for male or female underwear.

  2. T says:

    Have to agree with John that it doesn’t really bother me where the underwear is displayed. If I had to be slightly picky,I would say it would be nice to see the occasional “dad bod” modelling skimpy swim/underwear rather than the usual gym toned guys,just to prove that “ordinary” guys can look sexy in skimpy styles and shouldn’t feel they have to cover up just because they don’t measure up to the media’s idea of what sells men’s intimate apparel.

  3. Tacoronte says:

    I agree with the author in requesting more realistic underwear ads. I would like them to show normal people in normal places: at home (bedroom and bathroom), gym locker room, medical visit, …

    And already being famous people I only support the athletes, because some, like Rafael Nadal, David Beckham or, speaking of the past, Jim Palmer, have good advertisements of realistic underwear in dressing rooms.

    And some of Gregg Homme’s ads are elegant and realistic.

    I accept photos of models in a studio exclusively for the purpose of packaging them in underwear, but not for advertising in the press, posters or tv.

  4. DonS says:

    My viewing is mainly catalogues or websites. I don’t have any real problem with the displays on these.

    Perhaps my biggest complaint is using models that are not really suited to the style. I’m thinking of larger breasted models displaying swimwear bikinis when I thought bikinis (especially the tri-top styles) were meant for the smaller, slimmer woman to wear. Kiniki models seem to be the right size for their swimwear. They look like they can wear the bikini and get on with walking/swimming and not having to worry if they will have to push everything back in in a few minutes.

  5. Jason says:

    What always gets me is that women will buy swimwear and post photos of themselves wearing it on online shopping websites as part of the review on what they bought, but not bras & panties? Really, what’s the difference?! In some instances, the swimwear they wear is skimpier than the underwear they buy.

  6. Jason says:

    My pet peeve is showing men in skimpy thongs and bikinis in sexual poses with other men, as if to suggest that “this is gay underwear, and only gay men wear this underwear” I would like to see more underwear ads featuring women in the frame with men, holding each other, possibly kissing or she is behind him, caressing his chest and waist while he’s wearing his thong or bikini. Stop making skimpy underwear ads with multiple men as to suggest that it’s a gay thing!

    I also think that these underwear manufactures setting up booths only at gay pride events only serve to reinforce that men’s bikinis, thongs and g-strings are strictly a gay thing and that only homosexual men wear skimpy, sexy underwear, while straight, hetero men are supposed to wear boxer briefs and big, baggy Y-front briefs!

    I would also like to see more men’s underwear makers (Homme, Deitz, Body Aware, etc) push for more advertisements in women’s magazines in and around Valentine’s Day, so as to suggest to women that they should consider gifting their men with a sexy silk thong or satin bikini to wear for her delight and pleasure. They are selling themselves short by only targeting gay consumers!

    • T says:

      Hi Jason. I’m old enough to remember the days when mail order catalogues had several men posing together in their underwear and it wasn’t looked upon as being sexual. Nowadays there are some underwear brands that probably do focus on the pink pound, but I would imagine their ads are more than likely included in magazines that specifically cater for that section of society rather than the mainstream.

      On the subject of underwear companies only setting up stalls at pride events, does it not occur to you that many straight allies of the LGBT community go along to such events and may well relish the opportunity to buy the skimpy items on offer without fear of being judged or embarrassed?

      Turning to your plea about having more women featured in adverts for men’s underwear, I’m sure Nate will remember the time when Kiniki catalogues had scantily clad women draped over their thong wearing male models to give the impression that you could be a babe magnet if you wore one of their garments. I assume they abandoned that practice when it was pointed out that they were objectifying women, the worst example being a close up of a guy’s package in a semi transparent bikini, with a pouting woman on her knees, her face inches away from his crotch and with a pencil in her hand.

      I don’t read women’s magazines, but it seems reasonable to suggest that men’s underwear brands could advertise their products in them at certain times of the year as mentioned.

      Finally, I’ve noticed that some of the online underwear companies you highlight tend to use terms like gay and sissy when advertising their products, which I would have thought, given your feelings on the matter, would be a big no no?

      • Jason says:

        I also remember some of the jockey advertisements from the 80s showing multiple men in the locker room, all wearing different styles of Jockey brand underwear, but there was nothing sexual about it, just guys talking in the locker room. I also remember the Prevail sport catalogs, but again, there was nothing sexual about them to me, just models posing in underwear for the sale advert, but some of these ads not, especially on instagram and facebook, showing men laying together in bed, holding each other … to me that’s not necessary to show that, and it certainly doesn’t encourage straight men or teenage boys (who are curious about trying men’s bikinis or thongs) to buy them because of the obviously gay overtones and I would think it tends to discourage them because they don’t want to be teased or ridiculed by their male peers as gay.

        Straight guys at pride events? I don’t really know anything about that, I don’t go to those things because … well, as the saying goes “not my circus, not my monkeys”
        And as I have asked before, but never get a straight answer- what does skimpy underwear have to do with being gay? I have been wearing bikinis, string bikinis and thongs since I was 14 and I love and desire the intimate company of women! before the late 1990s, men and teenage boys alike wore skimpies (underwear and swimwear). It was a popular style for almost 30 years… certainly not anything gay about it… and women liked it! I believe that the style of underwear that a man chooses to wear does not define or determine his sexual orientation, yet a huge part of the gay community identify themselves by their underwear and it’s always the skimpy styles … never Y-front briefs or boxer shorts, but always bikini, thongs and jocks. I have always said that if homosexuality was a religion, their symbol would be a rainbow jock.

        As for advertisers and vendors using #gay and product search descriptors like “gay”, “sissy”, “panties”, etc… I have stated quite strongly that I don’t like that… I only forgot to add that detail here in my initial comment. I know that TBD said in the past that he will not buy from vendors that use those search descriptors when selling underwear. That’s his choice to do so, but in the meantime, you can also reach out to the sellers and ask that they remove those descriptors from their products because men don’t wear panties and our underwear should not be defined as “panties” because panties are for women and women do not wear men’s bikinis or thongs.

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