When the media distributor Go Viral named the greatest spot of all time this week, the winner was an 8-year-old commercial for Agent Provocateur lingerie featuring singer Kylie Minogue, a soundtrack by the Hives and a plush, velvet-covered mechanical bull. (Just curious: Where can you get one of those?) In it, the singer sets out to prove the lingerie is “the most erotic” in the world, and by golly, it’s convincing. Last winter, the clip was also named the greatest cinema ad in a poll by Digital Cinema Media.
The ad, which was shown only in theaters, beat out Sarah Silverman’s ode to doing it with Matt Damon, Ellen Feiss’ trippy Apple ad, and even the iconic Obama campaign’s “Yes We Can.” It’s clocked in at 350 million views on YouTube and counting. Take THAT, will.i.am!
Is it the greatest ad ever? Debatable. But it’s proof that if you want 350 million hits on YouTube it helps to be nothing less than scorching hot.
Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream." Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.