Davidoff Cigars new print campaign hits the “D” spot.

February 17, 2010


A legit men’s magazine (Esquire maybe?) has a fun feature where they ask readers to guess whether a close up photograph is a porn star achieving orgasm or a normal person enjoying something else i.e. sports, food, etc…

Out of context, it’s hard to tell the difference. Funny the faces of arousal.

It appears the makers of Davidoff Cigars are in on the joke. I found this new campaign on Adfreak and was smitten by it as well as grossed out. The campaign features men in the throes of cigar-induced ecstasy or something like it. Maybe they’re experiencing smoke inhalation. It’s hard to hell. They could be sighing or dying. The line of copy reads, “Every man has a D-spot.” Is that “D” as in death? I read somewhere the French call orgasm the “little death.” These ads seem to offer the same thing, which, I suppose, makes it good advertising. You’ve got to hand it to the photographer; they are compelling portraits. Made me look.

The saucy blogger, Jezebel calls the campaign “the dirtiest smokes since the Clinton administration” and I’m inclined to agree with her. On the other hand, as Freud once said, sometimes a cigar is just cigar.

A bit of intrigue: In Jezebel’s post, she credits photographer, Robbie Cooper. Ads of the World claims Ted Sabarese. So, who’s the shooter? Maybe someone reading can ‘clear the air.’

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13 Responses to “Davidoff Cigars new print campaign hits the “D” spot.”

  1. Brook Boley said

    As much as I’d like to take the counter-point, just for the sport of it, I have to agree. They look like anti-smoking ads more than they look like ads for cigars. The guy on the bottom looks like he’s about to sneeze.

    I get the strategy, the execution is off.

  2. I cannot linger over Cigar ads due to a previous cigar addiction many years ago, but I am afraid it wouldn’t take much for me to cave. I have a 1969 book by Z.Davidoff which is designed to look like a cigar box, and when you open the book the inside cover is the inside of a cigar box, along with the opposite page which is filled with cigars!! good little book, lots of cigar anecdotes, quotes, etc.

  3. Not sure most people want to see such grotesque and ham-handed imitations of ecstasy, especially for what is (presumably) a high-end aspirational brand.

    I don’t smoke so I’m not the target, but it makes me kind of sick.

  4. Danielle said

    This is an unauthorized usage of concepts that were pitched to us by an outside agency and will NEVER be used by Davidoff of Geneva. They in no way represent our company nor our products and we have requested that these concept ads be removed from distribution.

    Should you have any further comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.

    Best regards,
    Danielle K. Hawthorne
    Davidoff Brand Manager
    Davidoff of Geneva

    • SRP said

      You have every right to be aggravated.
      On the other hand, it’s free publicity.
      In the realm of social media, talking about brands is a win even if discussion controversial.
      PS: If you’d like some legitimate help marketing your product, just say so. I’m not only the Chief Creative Officer at my company but a cigar smoker as well!

      • Danielle said

        Dear Steffan:

        The issue of these concept ads (which were unexpected and completely off target based on the creative brief), dates back almost a year. So, it was more odd than aggravating that they suddenly resurfaced.

        As someone who has been on both the agency and client sides of the business, I definitely agree that sometimes negative PR can be beneficial. However, we prefer to create/align ourselves with PR that is more positive in nature and reinforces not only our position in the marketplace but also our messaging.

        I very much appreciate your sincere offer of assistance but our marketing efforts are producing the desired results and we’re tracking to goal as expected.

        I’m sure you must be on Twitter and would be happy to follow your posts and exchange ideas! LMK your tweet name. You can find me at @ZinoClassic.

        Best always,

  5. Whoa, Davidoff pulls the plug. That settles THAT. Another comp gets published…Cool.

  6. Nothing like the cleverly disguised threat of being sued, which is a part of website ownership. -Mike

  7. Danielle said

    Dear Mr. Allen:

    My comment was absolutely not, as you put it a, “cleverly disguised threat of being sured.” On the contrary. I simply stated that it (the ad concepts) in no way represent our company or our products, nor will they ever. Nothing more.

    We obviously both value free speech. I respect your right to post as you wish. Please understand that it’s my responsibility to address potential issues that may harm our brand and/or company.

    Best regards,

  8. MCC said

    This shows the tough job of brand managers these days. Their job is no longer limited to just controlling what the brand communicates. Now they have to be in constant state of alert, ready to deny, apologize, or explain themselves. Somehow, their brands seem weaker when they are forced to do that. But I like it. It makes them more vulnerable, more human. And that might make the consumer feel more connected with them. – MCC

    • SRP said

      I kind of like it too, for the same reasons you just outlined. As I said to the Davidoff CMO: It’s publicity. And in the age of social media you take what you can get…

  9. Anubis said

    Hi, could i obtain your approval to publish this post on my blog which deals with copycat and spoof ads? http://www.bloganubis.com

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