Serena Williams' sexy video game ad 'unauthorized'

Can one truly believe that a sexually suggestive ad for 2K Sports' "Top Spin 4" was released without the company's knowledge and that it accidentally became a viral success?

So you work for a video game company. Say it's called 2K Sports. You are about to launch a game called "Top Spin 4."

Now, tennis isn't quite the most popular sport in the world. And you need to persuade, oh, young, happily hormonal men to buy your game.

You hold a brainstorm that takes at least some minutes. You decide you need to make your game sexy. "Serena Williams is sexy," someone says. "Yeah, yeah," someone else replies.

Your minds then hotfoot it to an ad concept in which Williams looks sexy. You're then left with a couple of options: Once you've made this ad, you can spend many millions running it on TV and on the Web. Or you can leak it onto the Web, which will cost you rather less.

Remember, you've decided to make this ad as sexy as you can get away with. There are lovely shots of the more alluring parts of Williams and of an actress called Rileah Vanderbilt.

So, if you happen to go the cheaper, leakier route, how are you going to leak it? It's a deep dilemma.

Now, I have no idea how it truly happened that this ad saw the light of day and the darkness of grandmother's opprobrium, but it was certainly first leaked by Vanderbilt on her Twitter feed. How odd that she would have a copy and would think nothing of leaking it.

How odd, too, that since leaking it, she doesn't seem to have left a tweet of apology or taken the link to it down.

Once it was leaked--and, given the very high production values, passed along from human to human--2K Sports released this statement: "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."

Now that the video has enjoyed more than 1,000,000 YouTube views (it has been posted by various enthusiasts), I am sure that you, too, will be wondering what the title's final marketing campaign will involve.

What, indeed, can 2K Sports afford? The company must have offered Williams a considerable sum of money to polish her loins for this ad. And it's rare that a company would spend that kind of money and not use the ad. You can always re-edit to make it less alluring. A snip here, a snip there, and suddenly it's PG.

Williams herself, tweeted that she found the ad "awesomely sexy."

I have a sneaky feeling that 2K Sports, the company that commissioned the ad, finds it "awesomely sexy" too.

And perhaps its CFO also finds it awesomely sexy that, thanks to no media spend, the company might save a lot of money and still sell quite a few video games. Tennis video games, at that.

 

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