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gorillapaws's avatar

[NSFW] Can you help me understand the decision making underlying an advert for female underwear?

Asked by gorillapaws (27348points) 2 months ago

I was spending time with my wife, and we were scrolling through her news app, scanning for stories that caught our interest, when I noticed an ad for panties in the feed. It featured a fairly prominent camel toe, which I pointed out to my wife. She hadn’t noticed it.

I thought it was surprising and a little amusing, but didn’t think much about it. I left the room for a bit until she called be back to show me another ad for a different pair of panties, also rocking a camel toe. This got me wondering. Marketing photos are usually very highly scrutinized, A/B tested, etc. I had to conclude that the camel toe was very likely intentional. So that begs the question why?

The first question is whether these are being targeted to women or men to buy for the women in their lives. These weren’t “sexy” panties by any means, and appeared functional, comfortable, “cute” in a simple way, etc. Also, I assume the advertisers know the gender of my wife and so this was being targeted at women (though I could be wrong).

So that leads to the real question, why would a company selling normal panties to women have camel toes in the adverts? If you’re a woman would that make you more/less likely to click on the ad? Could this simply be an oversight/coincidence? Is there something else going on that I’m overlooking?

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19 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Perhaps the problem is assuming that evidence of labia in an ad is “wrong”. Maybe being realistic in an ad shot is preferable to photoshopping out any evidence of a vulva.

gorillapaws's avatar

@zenvelo Good point. I always thought women considered a camel toe as a wardrobe malfunction, but I may have that wrong. It could also be age-related somehow. My wife is in her mid-thirties.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Showing your labia is trendy again, supposedly.

rebbel's avatar

If you want to see whether your assumption about it being intentional (publishing the photos with the camel toe obvious in view), you can maybe visit the website of said brand, and check if all women’s underwear is presented in similar fashion, or not.
It could also be that this pose was such that the ‘malfunction’ became visible.
Or the the anatomy of this specific girl/woman was more prone to show it (different women, different anatomies).

Dutchess_III's avatar

If I was displaying a camel toe I’d be humiliated. Howsoever I never wear the kinds of clothes (too small or whatever) where that could happen.
Definitely a no-buy for me.

kritiper's avatar

Yeah, a camel toe is really showing a lot of detail as to what is underneath. Sort of like the bulge in men’s underwear ads.
And a camel toe reveals that the model is clean shaven, something not too uncommon these days.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m not talking about models. I’m talking about Walmart trash.

raum's avatar

I think it’s not that it’s desirable. But we are moving more away from photoshopping things out because an outline of labia was seen as taboo.

Same with nipples. Twenty years ago, you probably wouldn’t see much nipple in bra adverts. But now, if it’s a sheer bra, you’re going to see some nipples. [shrug]

Honestly, I appreciate this on two levels. One, getting over weird hang-ups about the human body. And two, actually seeing how the product would look like in real life and not photoshopped.

gorillapaws's avatar

@KNOWITALL ”Showing your labia is trendy again, supposedly.”

Well that would certainly explain the ads. I didn’t realize this was ever a trend, let alone one that’s “coming back” into fashion.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I just see it a sign that someone is wearing yoga pants who shouldn’t.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What kind of woman would even want to display something like that?

gorillapaws's avatar

@janbb I have no words…

janbb's avatar

@gorillapaws By the way, I found that by searching in incognito mode!

gorillapaws's avatar

@janbb Ha! I offered to buy my wife a pair, but she gave me a hard pass. She may still receive a pair in her stocking this Christmas if she misbehaves…

KNOWITALL's avatar

@All Supposedly they are popular with some of the LGBTQ community as well.

Demosthenes's avatar

It’s a good question.

Male underwear ads will show a bulge, but there won’t be an outline of an army helmet…

RocketGuy's avatar

Where did you see this? Panty ads in my area (N Cal) seem to discretely obscure the “crochal” area via camera angle, etc.

gorillapaws's avatar

@RocketGuy It was in my wife’s news feed app on her iPad. She uses a few, so it might have been apple’s News.app, Flipboard, or something else.

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