Does the Virginity Hit Campaign Actually Pass for 'Controversial' in 2010?

So I'm shuffling down the platform last night in the subway sauna at 86th and Lexington, and there's this big Virginity Hit billboard at the far south end: "Still A Virgin? For Help, Call 888-742-4335." Cute, I thought to myself, and maybe a little coarse, but Sony knows its market. I might have been the only person to stop and glance at it at all -- more out of professional curiosity than any prurient interest. And then, overnight, comes this headline on our sister site Deadline: "Sony Pic Billboards Offer 'Virgin Helpline' And Cause Nationwide Controversy." Er, really?

Apparently, we're told, there is some real outrage brewing as "TV news stations in Louisiana, Miami, San Diego, and Arizona have so far covered the brouhaha as local politicians demand the billboards' removal." I have yet to really find any evidence of that outrage in news searches online, but maybe it's just that I don't live among the "huckleberrys" so infuriated to have been "duped" by Sony's marketing.

So I leave it to you, Gentle Reader: Beyond the campaign's conspicuousness and craven lowbrow appeal, is there anything so controversial or scandalous about plugging a few billboards and posters like these -- for an R-rated movie called The Virginity Hit -- into major markets before a nationwide release in 2010? Is anybody really aggrieved, hurt or even titillated by this? I tend to give people more credit than that, yet in so many matters of seeming cultural import, that's often my first mistake. Help me understand.

· Sony Pic Billboards Offer 'Virgin Helpline' And Cause Nationwide Controversy [Deadline]



Comments

  • Location Location Location says:

    Personally I don't find the campaign offensive.
    It’s an interesting concept, the marketers must have assumed that they were going to get a controversial response. I’m in Toronto and haven’t seen a billboard, yet I’ve heard that in London, Ontario a smaller city and more conservative in nature there are several.
    From a marketing point of view I’m curious as to where they have chosen to place these billboards. If you’ve seen one would you mind letting us know what city it was in?
    Thanks.

  • StrawberryPain says:

    I live in Oklahoma. Several years ago, on the drive back into town from the airport, there was a billboard with a picture of a yellow stretch HUM-V, and the tagline, "Nothing like a good, long HUMMER."
    As the billboard stayed up for a good, long time, I assumed I was clearly the only one adolescent enough to see a double entendre. Blatant attacks on virginity!, though, and I suspect that sucker (ahem) would've been removed toute de suite.

  • stolidog says:

    the first step in understanding is realizing that non-coastal citizens of this fair country are dumber than lint.

  • Shrink says:

    Loved the condescending comments about the non-coastals--not. It's indicative of the fall into slime the US has been hurtling itself into over the past decades. To have morals and values is now something to be snickered over, openly smirked at, and looked down on by those who feel themselves SO "over it."
    In reality, the sad truth is that our country was founded on the values and principles so openly mocked. If we like the lifestyle we have achieved here, and we don't protect those principles and values, we are soon headed for a fall.
    Sony's campaign is only a symptom of a larger problem and those who put on their "politically correct" hats are willing (and stupid) accomplices to that problem. Get back to our values--if you can find them.

  • sweetbiscuit says:

    Oh, there's plenty of lint on the coasts, too.

  • Strawberry Pain says:

    Hi, Stoli. Thank you for your comments. I take umbrage, however, at your descriptions of us non-coastals; I am at least as intelligent as a bag of hammers, which is clearly, from a utilitarian viewpoint, of higher IQ than lint.

  • sweetbiscuit says:

    Wait, so our country was founded on the value of virginity? Really? What if "we like the lifestyle we have achieved here" because ideally it has nothing to do with telling anyone else what they should or shouldn't do with their bodies? Teaching values shouldn't be Hollywood's job, that responsibility lies with each parent, Mrs. Palin. Good luck with that.

  • E says:

    I'm pretty sure Miami and San Diego are coastal.

  • Xenocrates says:

    Oh, yes, hadn't you heard? This is a "Christian" country, founded on religous principles! Says so right there in that First Amendment...you remember the part about the Congress not being able to establish a religion? Sadly, the Sarah Palins and Glenn Becks of this world are just a little bit too slow to understand that just as the government has no business regulating religious faiths, those same people of faith have no business injecting their religion into our government. Thank you for calling out "Shrink's" errors in logic. But then, facts are troublesome things...The Constitution does not equal The Bible, the Qu'ran, the Book of Mormon or any other religious text you might care to mention. It is not a set of moral instructions, but a set of LAWS. You ("Shrink") might want to explore the difference.

  • stolidog says:

    southern coastal. it's really the same thing as being non-coastal, with better views.

  • Gretchen says:

    There is a 'still a virgin' newspaper holder in UT's health physical education recreation studies building in knoxville TN

  • Jaymie says:

    The great news is that it is completely worth every minute of your time.

  • Leigha Loht says:

    Who do you think is gonig to win the most awards at the 2010 VMA's tonight?

  • Offended Teenager says:

    I'm a teenager, and I found the billboard extremely offensive. In fact, I'm writing a research term paper on it. Yes, ads may be freedom of expression and speech, but billboards such as the one discussed hinder the values. It's not like a commercial where a parent can switch the commercial if they don't want their child to see it. Anyone driving by sees it plain and clear. Parents who don't want their kids knowing what sex is or asking questions about it have no control over their kids seeing it. Being a virgin is NOT a bad thing, and it's wrong to use that slogan to promote their movie. This billboard makes individuals feel bad about themselves not having had sex, when in reality, it's a personal choice and shouldn't be something to be ashamed about. I think that ads need to be assessed in qualifying which ones hinder or foster democratic values.

Post a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s