Here is a rad three minute documentary about the making of a computer animated commercial from 1984. The ad runs at the end. As is typical with high-concept commercials, the whole things keeps you guessing what the ad is for until the end where the subject is revealed, after which you promptly forget about it. It appears that the creators of this spot were so confident of their technology’s dazzle-factor that the weirdly composed shots of a naked “sexy” robot lady writhing orgasmically in her chair as corn cobs and asparagus bunches hover in front of her crotch didn’t bother anybody. Nor did the horrifying close up of the robot snapping her head around to stare at you. As you will see in the documentary however, the crew did put in a valiant effort to produce it:
I think every generation is doomed to repeat the “sexy robot” advertisement failure again and again. It is a real human tragedy. What was Svedka thinking when they approved this thing:
Looking at the final ad artwork above, I sensed that there was an intense, corporate-committee-meddling that helped to produce such an ugly, unappealing, unsexy final design. That sense was confirmed when I checked out the Feng Zhu Design studio portfolio that contains several more appealing designs, including the sample below:
While these designs are slightly more appealing, they are still part of an overall bad idea.
Comparing these concept designs with the final artwork, you’ll note that in the final they removed many of the little design elements on the face and head areas which help to distract the viewer from the fact that a dead human face has been grafted onto a bald plastic egg. Additionally, some executive probably said, “Tits! We need robot tits. What are all these different colors and panels doing here. Get rid of those and put in some tits and while you’re at it, make me some padded ass panels that float above the creepy exposed robo-skeleton.” At least that’s how I imagine it went down. I can’t imagine however how they arrived at leaving huge chunks of her torso missing, or why that is supposed to be sexy.
Read this article on the “Uncanny Valley” for further thoughts on the appealing or revolting nature of human-like things. I assume this is required study for everyone designing CG photorealistic mutant humany things these days, such as those blue guys in that Avatar movie.
Really, everyone should just leave the sexy robots to Hajime Sorayama. Sexy Robot was the title of his first art book. He popularized sexy robot images and is the undisputed expert on making the important design decisions like whether a robot should have erect molded metal nipples or a sweet gold lamé fitted jacket and no pants. And he drew most of his sexy robots just for fun—with airbrush no less!
Incidentally, Sorayama is also your go-to source for shiny lens-flair bedazzled anything, including ass-rocket propelled dinosaurs and lovable metallic cartoon bears. See more Sorayama at any of his websites. (Three links there, all include nudity).
Finally, here is another high-concept sexy robot commercial, this time for a German company called Saturn. They have avoided many of the sexy robot advertisement pitfalls by wrapping some digital effects onto an actual woman and leaving her face and head unblemished with robotic additions or subtractions. Thus there is no automatic revulsion to her image, especially from the neck up. Note how the directors of the commercial focus most of her screen time in super tight close-ups.
But will it sell their washers and dryers? Who knows.