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Babes and Cars; Automakers Tap Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue For Advertising

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On: Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 10:09AM | By: Chris Weiss

Babes and Cars; Automakers Tap Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue For Advertising

Hot, scantily clad ladies and hot cars go together like peanut butter and jelly. It's why they're both featured in men's magazines. It's why every auto show has its fair share of sexily dressed models on the floor. And it's why car pictorials often have a bikini-clad model stretched over a cherry-red hood.

Well, this month a few automakers are putting the synergy between hot girls and hot cars to work. Both Nissan and Lexus have partnered up with an annual classic in sexy ladies: the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Nissan takes a rather strange approach in focusing on its Juke crossover in the "Model Search" contest. The campaign itself seems like a great way to stir up some hype around the automaker; Nissan will sponsor a compeition in which the winner will get a spot in next year's swimsuit issue. But Nissan's choice of car—the Juke—is an odd one. Seeing that the Juke is probably the fugliest car in Nissan's line, showing it with beautiful women—let alone pitting it against said women in the "model vs. model" aspect of the campaign—seems like it will only highlight just how rough-looking the Juke really is.

The model vs. model "competition" "measures all key attributes of both car and lovely lady," attributes like "curb appeal," "acceleration," "aerodynamics," and "agility". Granted it's a whimsical, tongue-in-cheek contest, but I'd still rather see the 2012 GT-R with hot women than the Juke.

You can check out the contestants, see each girl's "model vs. model" breakdown, and vote between now and March 9 at the SI website. The winner will be announced on March 10.

Meanwhile, Toyota/Lexus took the opposite approach, an approach that I give two full thumbs up. Instead of highlighting their least attractive vehicle, they highlighted their sexiest—the Lexus LFA—in a shoot with Rianne Ten Hake—who looks like a taller, more slender Adriana Lima to me (score!!). The LFA does tire-smoking donuts around the beautiful, yellow-bikini-adorned model. Now that's how you capitalize on the girls/cars connection—an all-out stunning combination of natural and man-made beauty. You can check out the making of that shoot below.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue hit newsstands on Tuesday, and you can see more of the girls, photos, and videos at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011_swimsuit.



Michigander | 12:51PM (Mon, Feb 21, 2011)

This is smart. Why wouldn't car companies advertise their hottest cars along some of the hottest girls? I mean after all... Boys like cars and Boys like girls... It's a pretty easy conclusion to make. :)

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