The Famous Sex Ad

Once upon a time my marketing coach Dan Kennedy challenged me to write a “sex” ad for the industry that I served.

Let me describe the risk. I was the founding CEO of a well regarded high-tech manufacturing firm in biotechnology – an extremely conservative industry.  We had a hard-earned reputation to protect.

So it was a definite challenge. I created the ad and after several go-rounds with my marketing people, this was what we issued. It was placed in the directory of the most important trade show in our industry.

We took a full page.

I had to argue with the trade show people to get the ad printed, even though the copy was fairly innocent.

First the marketing results — We drew a larger crowd and got more leads than ever before. It made us famous. Or maybe a little infamous. And we only got 4 complaints.

Second, we proved that “sex” can be used successfully in an ad, but ONLY if the word is justified appropriately in the copy.

Otherwise people will either think you are sleazy or manipulative. And that’s not a good impression to create.

Here’s the ad:

Sex Ad

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