A RadioShack store in a shopping mall. Creative Commons

Electronics chain RadioShack recently managed to turn a number of heads when they released an ad for the new "Beats by Dr. Dre Pill." The ad features Robin Thicke performing his hit "Blurred Lines," and a bevy of scantily clad women dancing provocatively while holding the distinctly phallic-looking speaker system.

The ad has amassed nearly 750,000 views since it was released on April 29, but not everyone appears to be on board with RadioShack's blatant new sales tactic. A recent post on AdWeek by David Gianastasio had this to offer:

"I'm betting the numbers say more about the tune's smooth mojo and the sexy imagery on display than any renewed excitement about the retail brand. RadioShack comes off like an unhip, balding, middle-aged dude desperately trying to prove he's down with the kids-and failing badly."

AdRants was a little kinder in their critique, offering at least one note of encouragement: "the approach actually makes sense since the Pill basically looks like a gigantic dildo."

Despite the mixed reviews, no one can question RadioShack's motives. The once prominent electronics retail giant continues to suffer market loss to big box competitors such as Walmart and Best Buy, and online sellers such as Amazon. According to, RadioShack's revenue fell 2.7 percent in 2012 while gross margins fell from 41.4 percent to 36.7 percent, much of which can be contributed to the corporation's mobility business losing ground to Best Buy.

The new ad, entitled #UWANTIT, is certainly a bold move. And while RadioShack's efforts to capture the electronics-world's essential young male demographic is admirable, in an age when oversaturated sexuality has become de rigueur in runaway advertising, and where images of half-naked nubile women and bare-chested men have accumulated to little more than visual catchphrases, the question remains will it be enough to save the fledgling retailer?


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