We've discussed a lot of strange and "sexy" ads here, but Orangina's new panther-dominatrix clip may be the weirdest of them all. And as a bonus, it even plays sexual assault for laughs.
The clip shows a balding middle-aged white man in the center of a circus ring. He looks nervously around, and the camera pans to show the aggressor: a black panther-woman in a gold bikini. She commands him to "dance... to the rhythm... strip!" while repeatedly calling him "baby." The cat-woman growls at him and cracks her whip while he strips down to his socks and awkwardly sways back and forth.
It's pretty clear that this man is not enjoying the experience. Melissa McEwan from Shakesville notes that the selling point is apparently that "Orangina Red will turn you into a sexually aggressive monster." She argues that there is no ambiguity to this scene of assault:
And before anyone gets it in their head to argue that this isn't a sexual assault, but instead a scene of a dominatrix and a consenting customer, I'll just note that the setting of the ad is a circus ring. She's literally treating him like a performing animal, and he appears to be utterly terrified. I am acquainted with someone who worked as a professional dominatrix for many years; men went to her to be punished, not petrified-and if someone had become visibly frightened of her, she would have stopped. Images of dominatrices thrilling in hurting scared, vulnerable men are images of sexual assault, not of anything a consent-insistent sex worker does.
However, many people will probably see this ad and think it funny, not offensive or strange. Yet try imagining it with the genders reversed: A terrified woman strips uncomfortably while a large, muscular man-animal growls at her and commands her to dance. My guess is that far fewer people would find that humorous. Once again, sexual assault committed against men is viewed as hilarious - as are violent and aggressive women.
Even without the violence, this ad is full of problems. There is the woman-reduced-to-a-cat theme, which by this point is just getting kind of tired. Call me when we start seeing some sexy rhinos (although there is a hot M&M, so I suppose even this is possible). Copyranter, posting on Animal New York, also suggests that there is an element of racial tension underlying the exchange:
It's the latest spot in Orangina's animated anthropomorphized nympho animal campaign, where we previously witnessed a giraffe-girl sniffing a rollerblading guy's ass. Now, a buff busty melanistic big cat (I'm envisioning Naomi Campbell) dominates a stereotypical White Man in a big tent setting. Is that a penis peek I spy? The spot sizzles with sexual and racial tension, RAWWRR!
That panther-thing reminds him of Naomi Campbell? This may say more about the author's views than the agency's. Either way, we can probably all agree Orangina has unleashed something that is all-around disturbing, and not at all appetizing.