Oh My! Travel Agency Uses Nearly-Naked Flight Attendants In Ad Campaign

Adweek covers the unusual ad campaign that Chocotravel, a travel agency based in Kazakhstan, launched this week. The ad was apparently intended to communicate that they don’t add anything to the cost of airline tickets, and I guess the way they chose to communicate that was by showing naked girls covering their privates with hats. The point they’re trying to make is a bit of a stretch, in my opinion.

Here’s the ad:

Some where outraged by the ad:

PR and communications consultant Marat Raimkhanov described the ad to the BBC as “a triumph of misogyny, a gesture of desperation to attract public attention. It’s a total failure—socially, morally and professionally.” Raimkhanov also called for a boycott of the Chocotravel brand.

Meanwhile here’s what a Chocotravel representative had to say in defense of the ad:

Chocotravel ticketing service director Nikolay Mazensev said the ad is “bold and outrageous and we did not mean to offend,” the BBC reported. But Mazensev added: “It shows no less than you’d see on the beach or by the pool. Do you attack girls in short skirts or swimsuits?”

“There’s definitely no sexism,” added Nurken Rzaliyev, an employee of parent company Chocofamily. “Opinions were divided, but attention was made to the problem of high ticket prices.”

They claim it’s not sexist, and shortly after the initial ad, one was published with guys. I’m not really sure that proves a lack of sexism though, given that all the women were flight attendants and all the men were pilots. Here’s the ad with guys:

Chocotravel is doubling down on the ad, and despite widespread criticism, it seems they’re taking the “any publicity is good publicity” approach.

No matter what you make of the ad, I think we can all agree this is one way to get a lot of attention with a limited ad budget.

What do you make of this ad — is it sexist or clever?

Comments

  1. You and others are talking about it which makes it a win.
    Yesterday I hadn’t heard of Chocotravel.

    Is it something to continue? Likely not. But it got the name out across the world.

  2. Love it. Everyone needs to lighten up. It is certainly better than the Energizer Bunny type ads

  3. They must have had a lot of takes for both adds in order to get everyone to speak the lines in unison. It probably took all day. I hope it was warm.

    Sex is used every day to sell things. It is hard to go out of the house without being bombarded by adds using attractive people in suggestive poses, clothing or situations to sell something. And the vast majority of such ads use women.

    The ubiquitous use of women’s bodies to titillate and sell good or services is troubling and sexist — of course it is. But singling this ad out from this widespread practice? Why is the one any worse than “nothing comes between me and my Calvins”? It is all sexist and it all contributes to a culture of inequality.

    But it’s so freaking weird to just pull out one example and act like it’s the worst thing ever when you cannot open a single magazine in a grocery store rack, or walk a block in a major city, and not be bombarded with the very same phenomenon. Is it the fact that the women are naked under the parts that are obscured? Why is that any worse than a watch advertisement where a women holds a watch and the only thing you see of her body is her breasts? It’s all the same. Getting outraged at this ad, as opposed to all the others, is just weird and comes form some prudishness that in the end makes it harder not easier to see the perniciousness of sexism.

    Objectification of women is a problem. This ad is no better or worse than any of it.

  4. As a frequent 1st class passenger, I’d love to have attractive flight attendants with suggestive clothes. And I don’t care what overweight feminists and weak men supporting them may think

  5. I’m so over outrage culture. So very over people who think their feelings are a valid argument for anything.

  6. Kazakhstan here I come.

    First women said don’t give us a hard time because we are fat. Then they have a problem if guys don’t find them attractive because they are fat. What about Transgender women that call themselves women on dating sites. I know fraud when I see it. That emotional black mail won’t work.

  7. If they are willing to double down and release an ad with men alongside the original, I don’t see where the outrage is.

    As for the “female flight attendant, male pilots” thing, I don’t see anyone complaining about how american companies only use women as housewife to sell house cleaning products.

  8. I don’t find any of the men attractive and even if I did, it wouldn’t sway me to use their agency. It’s good for publicity but it doesn’t necessarily translate into actual business.

  9. Lol. Someone didn’t like an advertising which attracts attention. Does that makes it wrong? Very stupid if it does……

  10. I’m with William; I too am totally over all the outrage brouhaha. Especially from all of the prudish anti-male ideologues who conflate sexual with sexist.

  11. I often wonder what prompts women to want to tease–in this way and so many others. Do they like being mean? Do they think it’s funny?

  12. Great. My Russian is rusty, but they both seem to say fly the really friendly sky’s. Or something like that.

  13. In the 1960s when posters were the rage, their was one with Hitler admiring the new VW Beetle, with the tag line, “Advertising makes it happen!”
    And as far as Germany, for those under 68 who are still curious what flight used to be, how about during the mid-1960s Lufthansa offered topless stewardesses between Frankfurt-Cologne (when Pan Am, BOAC, and Air France dominated the routes to West Germany)?
    OBTW-I still exclusively fly Lufthansa to Europe!

  14. Not sure what all the outrage is about seemed liked a smart ad campaign. Some people need to get a life and stop complaining about everything

  15. I don’t get it. What’s wrong with the ad? I guess some people have such perfect lives this is all they have to complain about.
    Anyway I see nothing wrong with this ad, though I probably won’t be traveling to Kazakhstan anytime soon.
    This is no different than the marketing video of VietJet that has their flight attendants serve in bikinis. That, I may fly on.

  16. Nearly naked? I see a lot of bare skin, but nothing to imply there is no clothing being worn by the models. Women could have a tube top and thong, men a thong. Much like can be seen on most any Euro beach.

    But I guess if you *want* it to be obscene, then it will be obscene…

  17. @Larry who said: “They must have had a lot of takes for both adds in order to get everyone to speak the lines in unison. It probably took all day.”

    You know, there are powerful computers these days that can do miraculous things like syncing voice recordings. 😉

  18. The point is to stick in mind the brand “Chocotravel”.. Naked girls did it well 🙂
    promote a business naked way …

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