Serena Williams' gimmicky "banned" ad

A naughty spot for a video game just happens to leak. Let's pretend to be shocked!

By Mary Elizabeth Williams
Published March 23, 2011 7:48PM (EDT)
Serena Williams
Serena Williams

Have you seen that Serena Williams spot that's "too hot for TV?" The "banned" ad that accidentally "leaked" Tuesday? Of course you have. Why else does it exist?

The bound-to-get-attention promo for 2K Sports' game Top Spin 4, featuring the "world's sexiest tennis player" and "world's sexiest tennis gamer" actress Rileah Vanderbilt is one flames-and-leather drenched minute of orgasmic moans and "oohs," to the vision of more T&A than the April issue of King magazine. On Monday, Williams tweeted, "Stay tuned for a awesomely sexy video I am tweeting later..... Stay tuned......" and Vanderbilt told her followers to "Check out my newest commercial with @serenawilliams!" But instead of getting an eyeful of booty, viewers found a link to a video hastily scrubbed from YouTube.

Covering far more butt than either Williams or Vanderbilt did, reps for 2K Sports told Joystiq Tuesday that "As part of the process for creating marketing campaigns to support our titles, we pursue a variety of creative avenues. This video is not part of the title's final marketing campaign and its distribution was unauthorized." Oh OK. If you say so, 2K Sports!

This couldn't possibly be a case of a company wanting to have its bump-and-grind and deny it too. It couldn't be a blatant attempt to porn the living daylights out of a game and then pretend to be shocked by it. Why, whoever heard of such a cynical, responsibility-averting attempt at viral marketing!

The company already conveniently has a far tamer "official" promo for Top Spin 4, one which is so aggressively unsexy it features a Huey Lewis song.  But if you should happen to "accidentally" (WINK WINK) stumble upon Serena Williams shaking her moneymaker like it's going out of business, remember, 2K Sports is not responsible for any boners you may incur. Go back to sleep, this isn't really happening. Or as Williams herself explains in the clip, "You realize this is a fantasy, right?" 

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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