According to the Boston Herald, Calvin Klein is holding onto his vaunted status as the country's raciest advertiser (American Apparel be damned). The latest ad for its Secret Obsession perfume is so scandalous, so suggestive, that it has been banned in the United States. (An edited version will run on cable and the full version will play abroad.)
The commercial, which Calvin Klein president Tom Murry calls "exceptional," features Eva Mendes rolling around in an unmade bed, caressing herself and flashing a nipple. In what the Herald describes as a "husky" voice, she then announces, "Between love and madness lies obsession. Love ... madness. It's my secret."
OK. But here's my secret: Between the masturbation and the boob flash lies a problem I've always had with commercials like this. I'm a very literal person, so instead of soaking up the sight of Mendes' nipple, my mind takes me down a totally different track. Namely: Why would one name a perfume "Obsession"? In the context of love and madness, it makes me think of stalkers. What's sexy about a restraining order? And is the scent of that type of obsession (think: love-crazed astronaut speeding down the highway in a diaper) really something I'd want to apply to my pulse points? This thought pattern is quickly followed by another question: "Am I really thinking this hard about a perfume commercial?" Maybe that's why my Calvin Klein scent of choice is still that unambiguously titled 1990s classic, CK One. It's old, it's unisex ... and it doesn't prompt questions.