First and foremost, looking at advertisements has become one of my new favorite things to do! This was definitely one of the funniest I found and can be titled as controversial, butt I think it’s cleverly eyeronic. The advertisement is for Glassing Sunglasses, created by Y&R Italy and was published in 2009 in Italy.
The denotation (literal meaning) is clearly playing on the phrase “Kiss my Ass” notably as the females face is a buttocks… . She’s also wearing a pair of stylish sunglasses, so it becomes “Kiss my Glass.” This may express that the sunglasses are desirable and good enough to kiss. Generally when someone says “Kiss my ass,” they’re saying it to be cool or feel superior to someone else. This works in Glassing Sunglasses’ favour because in conjunction with the big city background, it may convey that owning and wearing the brand of sunglasses is trendy and offers a high status.
Why is it controversial? Well, the connotations (ideas and feelings) may be of disgust because the women is downright dehumanized. Although the ad is focused on the sunglasses in the ad, the main signifier that’s quite salient is the buttocks as the face. So the signified’s (what is evoked in the mind) become inappropriate, rude and disgusting. Together, the buttocks and the connotation of “kiss my ass” can be uninviting and offensive to audiences. Confrontation of a buttocks, known as one of our “private parts,” used as a face is actually quite uncomfortable and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to kiss that. Unfortunately for Glassing Sunglasses, the advertisement can be destructive in that consumers may reject the product and the brand. If I wear these sunglasses will I look like that too?
So overall, consumers weren’t very impressed with the advertisement and it received many complaints. Despite Y&R Italy advertising agency’s clever ability to effectively use a pun on modern day colloquial language, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there is a butt in your face, or in the women’s case, on her face.
Media Bistro Network, 2009, Glassing Sunglasses: Kiss my glass 2, Ads Of The World, viewed March 26 2014, <http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/glassing_sunglasses_kiss_my_glass_2>