Combining half-naked girls with winks and sexual innuendo is nothing new to advertising, but this week 2345.com took that classic combo one step further. As a result, their sexy ad segments currently screening on Shanghai metro and bus TVs are causing quite a tizzy among parents and less-than-amused passengers.
In the commercial, a scantily clad girl playing around with a cartoon octopus tells viewers over and over to set the website as your homepage. But by a clever little trick of the tongue, it sounds more like she’s imploring you to… er, click your own homepage, if you know what I’m saying.
The offensive term in question is “shè” – which means both “set” (设) and “ejaculate” (射). Chinese is full of homonyms and they are used constantly to sell a product, but ejaculation isn’t usually the targeted concept. Apparently the people over at 2345.com abandoned scruples and somehow slipped it by the regulators.
In one ad, the girl kind of throws her head back in ecstasy at the end. In the other, she’s half naked crawling around looking freshly showered yet frumpled in a man’s shirt.
Both end with a question: “你设了没?” – “Did you ______ yet?”