Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I may not be in the best position to comment on this, as I've never actually seen the show, but this image was memorable enough to come to mind now, well over a year after I first saw it on
a billboard in Times Square:

As far as I knew, Gossip Girl was generally targeted toward tweens and teens--the same kind of people who were addicted to The OC all throughout my time in high school. This ad would suggest otherwise, irrespective of the fact that it was two stories tall, and located right off 42nd St (one of the busiest streets in the world, including a very large number of tourists and young children). It doesn't just denote sex, it connotes it as well. Without my knowing the brand, it could seem as though it came right out of a porno or graphic photo shoot, and had just been cropped to remove any nudity.

Attention grabbing to say the least, especially when the not-so-subtle implications are that the show will contain much material along these lines. Taking it to another level, it could be argued that the powers that be at the CW want you to believe that watching their show will lead to you having more sex.

Finally, the tagline is simple, yet incredibly effective. "OMFG," which I don't need to spell out, could be referring to the public's response to the ad, or more likely, suggesting the kind of orgasmic exclamation the characters pictured would be emitting.

Only the text at the bottom clarifies the ad--it's actually somewhat shocking to realize that this is the face of a network television show. From what I hear, it's incredibly successful, so it seems that sex really does sell.


  1. They also had ads with quotes like "Every parent's nightmare" because they actually took reviews saying this show was bad, as in "it sucks" or is inappropriate, but they printed it to have a sexual connotation.. how honest. and clever.

  2. wow...
    never saw this ad actually...
    but pretty interesting imagery i've gotta say

  3. From the advertisements that the CW displayed for Gossip Girl, I'm amazed there wasnt more complaints from parents of younger girls who watch the program. Not only were these ads provocative, but were heavily sexualized and referenced cuss phrases. Girls ages 8 and up watch this show. I know sex sells and it surrounds the media in more ways than one, but there are eight year old girls who watch this show...come on now

  4. Just the fact that they used "OMFG" as the tag line shows that they were targeting the tween/teen audience. For instance, if my dad were to look at that ad he would have no idea what that stood for.