George Clooney’s Commercial Timidity

You may not know this, but George Clooney has been the face of Martini vermouth since 2004. His ads often pop up on European television, where he thinks American audiences won’t find him and realize, in addition to lending his name to charitable causes, he lends his name to corporate come ons.

Here’s his latest spot, which, like his previous ads, features Clooney with a moustache, and uttering the one word he knows in Italian.

But analyzing the ad under another context makes it more interesting. In 2005, Britain’s Code of Advertising changed the rules for liquor ads, requiring them not to link alcohol to “seduction, sexual activity or sexual success.” However, romance and flirtation are allowed, which explains Clooney’s PG chase of the object of his desire.