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Men's Underwear Ads - No Ands, Ifs ... Just Sexy Butts

 

Malebuttcheeks

 

With underwear ads being so ubiquitous, you'd think that every man would own at least one great pair of briefs (and for men in New York, two pairs!); surprisingly, it's not the case - at least based on what I see in the locker room at the gym.  Obviously, not everyone is inspired by what they see on the printed page.  With that off my chest, here is ZeitGAYst's fourth installment of "Sexy Magazine Ads".   

 

  • Todd & Terry.  An Aussie brand, but the model here is American.  His name is Jack Mackenroth, 42 years old (in 2011), and openly gay.  A menswear designer who competed on Project Runway in 2008, he made headlines after withdrawing when he developed the serious bacterial skin infection known as MRSA.  Mackenroth's also a skilled swimmer, who's competed in the Gay Games, where he's won a number of gold medals.  Additionally, he's an AIDS activist who's open about being HIV+.

 

Todd_and_Terry-underwear

 

  • Jockey.  Jim Palmer is a Hall of Fame pitching great who played for the Baltimore Orioles in the 1960s and '70s.  I believe he is the first athlete to "drop trou" for underwear ads - the first attempt by Major League Baseball to turn gay men into baseball fans.

 

Jimpalmer_jockey

 Jim_palmer_hairychest_jockey

 

  • Dolce & Gabanna.  Another in a long line of Italian rugby players exuding their sexy, cocksure attitude for D&G.

 

Dandg%20ad%201

  

  • Puma.  I've never come across Puma's underwear brand, but since this ad ran I'll believe that it exists.  (And I rarely see its athletic shoes in stores anymore.)  But it's a cute ad.  (If you can't read it, the copy says "i see london, i see france, i see daily underpants".)

 

Puma_underwear 

 

  • Tommy Hilfiger.  This joins one of Marky Mark's Calvin Klein ads as one of the few in the genre with a sweet, smiling model (Jason Shaw).

 

Hilfigerundies_redsofa

 

If you haven't already seen them, I've published a number of other posts about men's underwear:

Aah ... Underwear Ads!

Joy to the World - More Alluring Men's Underwear Ads

More Ogle-Worthy Men's Underwear Ads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Capturing GQ's Evolution Through Its Covers

 

Toreador_GQ.Oct1961

 

GQ began as a trade publication called Apparel Arts in the 1930s.  It was re-positioned as a consumer magazine in the late 1950s and re-named Gentleman's Quarterly; it was re-branded once again in the late 1960s when it officially became known simply as GQ.  Covers from the 1950s and 1960s featured a varied mix of celebrities (e.g., Rock Hudson, Joe DiMaggio, Robert Goulet), jaunty models dressed like dandies and artistic covers with no models present.  Then in the 1970s a change in style had covers mostly depicting couples - but with the women more or less in the role of accessory.  

 

 

ApparelArts.Feb1957

  

Male models in close-up populated most covers beginning in the late '70s and continuing into the '80s.  Led by editor-in-chief Jack Haber, this was considered the magazine's overt gay phase and some say it peaked with the famous "New York Dazzle" cover.  (That was the first issue of the magazine I purchased.)

 

GQ_May1978
May 1978

 

 

NewYorkDazzle_GQNov1978
"New York Dazzle", November 1978

 

After Conde Nast acquired the publicaiton in 1979, GQ's editorial content was broadened to cover other facets of a man's life.  This was done to make it more palatable to a wider spectrum of advertisers, especially automakers in Detroit.  (And to make it more appealing to heterosexual readers.)  When it pitched itself to advertisers, GQ more or less instituted a "don't ask, don't tell" policy as it pertained to its gay readership

 

During this era, publisher Steve Florio, and editor Art Cooper took heat from its gay readership for turning its back on its core readers by giving the magazine somewhat of a scotch-and-cigars sensibility.  (When I worked in the media department of ad agency Young & Rubicam, I had a gay boss who loved to make GQ's director of ad sales squirm by asking him pointed questions about its gay readers.)

 

Arnold_GQJuly1986
Arnold Schwarzenegger, July 1986

  

 

FrankGifford_GQFeb84
Frank Gifford, February 1984

 

 

DonaldTrump_GQFeb85
Donald Trump, February 1985

  

 

Over the past 25 years, entertainers and sports stars, both male and female, have monopolized covers. (Tom Cruise has been on the cover seven times.)  Actresses first appeared "unchaperoned" in the early 1990s (Julia Roberts being the first).  By the end of the decade, they were appearing regularly (three to four issues each year), wearing less clothes and showing more cleavage - most likely in response to "laddie" magazines such as Maxim - drumming home the point that "we're not just for gay guys anymore".  GQ (whose editor-in-chief from 2003-2018, Jim Nelson, was openly gay) was influential in transforming heterosexual men into metrosexuals.

 

JuliaRoberts_GQ.Feb1991

 

JenniferLopez_GQDec02
Jennifer Lopez, December 2002

 

 

PenelopeCruz_GQFeb2000
Penelope Cruz, February 2000


      

Here are some of my favorite covers from the old days (1980s): 

 

JeffAquilon_GQMay1982
Jeff Aquilon, May 1982

 

Baryshnikov_GQNov1985
Mikhail Baryshnikov, November 1985

 

GQ_Jan1981

 

Armand_Assante_GQ
December 1991

 

   

Here are some celebs in their younger, and then more mature, days as shown by their GQ covers.  First, Robert DeNiro in 1991 and 2007, and then Jeff Bridges in 1986 and 2010.

 

RobertDeNiro_GQJan1991
January 1991, at age 47

 

RobertDeNiro_GQJan2007
January 2007, at age 63

 

JeffBridges_GQJune1986
June 1986, at age 37

 

JeffBridges-GQDec10
December 2010, at age 62

  

 

And the debonair Sean Connery in 1966 and 1989; Cary Grant in 1962 and 1986.

 

SeanConnery_GQApril66
April 1966, at age 35

 

SeanConnery_GQJuly1989
1989, at age 58

    

 

CaryGrant_Sept1962
September 1962, at age 58

 

CaryGrant_GQJan1986
January 1986, at age 82

 

The magazine now has a metrosexual vibe throughout its pages and serves the 21st century interests of both gay and straight men fairly well. In closing, here are some "eye candy" covers from the past 20 years:

 

BenAffleck_Feb98_GQ
February 1998

 

MattDamon_GQDec1999
December 1999

 

Heath_Ledger_June01GQ
June 2001

 

Jake_gyllenhaal_June04GQ
June 2004

 

ColinFarrell_GQNov2004
November 2004

 

TomBrady_Sept05GQ
September 2005

 

TaylorLautner_GQ2010
November 2010

 

 Channing.tatum.GQ

 

RyanGosling_GQJan11
January 2011

 

Colin.kaepernick.Sept2013.GQ
SF 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, Sept. 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

   

 

 

 

 

To review all of GQ's covers between 1957-2007: http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/gq

 


More Ogle-Worthy Men's Underwear Ads

Whether it's a mainstream brand like Jockey or a high-fashion label such as Versace on the waistband, art directors who specialize in creating underwear ads understand the selling power of the male physique (i.e. "sex sells").  And they find plenty of provocative ways to put it on display so that we think nothing of dropping $20 for a pair of undies.

 

  • 2(x)ist.  Most underwear ads are static shots of a model with a "come hither" look, so kudos to 2(x)ist for this one here that shows the product in action.  The company is renowned for some of the most tantalizing ads in the category.  This is one of its earliest.

 

2xist3

 

  • Jockey.  This has got to be one of the saddest looking pair of briefs shown in any underwear ad!  Obviously, the folks at Jockey were counting on readers to focus on the sexy model, and not the product (a safe supposition). 

 

Jockey

 

   

  • aussieBum.  The oh-so-Italian model is sexy as hell, but what makes this ad so atypical for aussieBum (known mostly for its swimwear) is the excessive amount of clothes the model is wearing!

 

Aussie_bum

 

 

  • Champion.  This lesser known brand (who knew they made clothes other than workout gear?) takes a milk and cookies approach by using an All-American cutie in basic white skivvies, and teasing us with just a hint of bare flesh.  (Works for me!)  By the way, this has got to be the most ad copy I've ever come across in an underwear ad.

 

Champion

 

  • Versace.  I don't know what's going on with all of the gear draped around the model, but I suppose it's the nature of "high fashion" advertising - as is his aloof, albeit sexy, look.

 

Versace

  

 

  • D&G.  Finally, may I present to you the 2006 World Cup champion Italian soccer team for Dolce & Gabbana.  Would that American sports teams were so at ease flaunting their equipment for all to salivate over.

 

D&b_italiansoccerplayers   

 


Baby It's Cold Outside - Sexy Guys in Cold-Weather Gear

 

Izod_skicap

 

Inspired by this year's harsh winter (2011), I immersed myself in a review of winter fashion ads from my archive and found a good many that warmed me up - on a number of levels.  And, as a friend once pointed out, if you've got a great physique your sex appeal shows through no matter what (or how much) you wear.  And the selection of ads I've chosen prove his point.  Please enjoy the parade of sexy men in their cold-weather attire ...

 

UNDERGEAR

This handsome man lounging in his long johns beckons you to open the catalog - whose pages will be comprised largely of skimpy underwear on beefy torsos - which, of course, is Undergear's bread and butter.

 

Undergear_holiday01

 

HENRY COTTON'S

A high-end sportswear clothier established in 1978 and based in Milan, the company is named after the famed British golfer from the 1930s, '40s and '50s known for his impeccable style of dress (and who I never heard of).  Similar to Polo, Henry Cotton's prides itself on "informal elegance".  It has a big presence in Asia, but has failed in its attempts here in the States at operating standalone retail stores.  Instead, it has a roster of exclusive stores that carry its label.

 

Henry_cottons  

 

UNDER ARMOUR

UA claims to have created the "performance apparel" category in 1996, supplying the NFL and college football teams with lightweight, breathable workout gear that hugs every muscle.  The company expanded into the consumer market about around 2000.  (Count me as a satisfied customer.)  It offers great form-fitting gear for all types of activities and all types of weather.

 

Underarmour 

 

GIANFRANCO FERRE

Before going out on his own Ferre was the stylistic director of Christian Dior.  He died seven years ago (2004), just shy of his 63rd birthday, but his label lives on.  FYI, the model in this Bergdorf's ad, Hoyt Richards, got a lot of work in the late 1980s and '90s.  No surprise, at the age of 52 (2014) he's still a handsome man.

 

Bergdorf_shearling_coat

 

HICKEY FREEMAN

He's got stunning eyes, a rugged and square jawline and a luxurious fur collar to keep him cozy.  A beautifully composed ad for an 114-year-old (as of 2014) menswear manufacturer headquartered in Rochester, NY (a surprise for all of us who think only of Kodak whenever this city is mentioned).

 

Hickeyfreeman_furcollar 

  

FERRAGAMO

Although the company's founder, Salvatore Ferragamo, has been dead for more than 50 years, his legacy of fine footwear lives on.  And as this ad attests, the presence of a hot body isn't always necessary to exude sex appeal.

 

Boot_ad    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Joy to the World - More Alluring Men's Underwear Ads

 

Back by popular demand, here's a second installment of titillating men's underwear ads from the past 20 years (1990-2010)

 

  • Calvin Klein.  Part of an iconic ad campaign from the early 1990s, what makes this particular execution stand out for me is the fact that it's one of the few underwear ads for any label in which the model is smiling.  And Marky Mark's smile here is even more beguiling considering his thug pedigree (now a distant memory since transforming into "actor" Mark Wahlberg). 

 

Marky_mark

 

  • Polo.  There's not a stitch of clothing visible, but, yes, it's an underwear ad - because the headline says so.  But somehow I'm okay with that.

 

Polo_spread

 

  • Banana Republic.  Such a sweet ad.  It might have been a cute touch to have little boxers for the dog as well (a line extension?).

 

Bananarepublic 

    

  • Tommy Hilfiger.  I like this ad for the contrast of the vivid blue background with the white briefs and the model's skin color.  And his pulling the briefs away from his mid-section is somewhat of a provocative touch.

 

Tommy_hilfiger

 

  • Polo.  Unlike the Polo spread a few photos above (perhaps using the same model) this Polo ad manages to show the briefs (barely).  Nice use of a redhead - and the dog tag is a nice touch, especially because it draws attention to his pecs. 

 

Polo

 

  • Finally,covers of the New Yorker often make playful commentaries on trends of the day, and in this one the waistband-as-ad-message takes a jab.  Since this cover appeared in the summer of 1997, waistband labels have become even bigger and bolder.

 

Newyorker