The old adage that sex sells was being put to the test for Top Spin 4, 2K Sports new game for the Wii, Playstation 3 and XBox 360 platforms. We'll never know if it did the trick since it is not the version that will appear in support of the game's marketing campaign.
Serena is introduced as "The World's Sexiest Tennis Player" and the Serena you see is someone you have never witnessed in real competition on a tennis court. Some tennis fans and Williams sisters' observers love to criticize Serena and Venus for their on-court tennis outfits, many of which they design themselves.
In the video posted below, Serena's outfit is built for titillation rather than real competition and yet, she has a competitor playing Top Spin 4 with her. Actress Rileah Vanderbilt tries to outplay the tennis great while upstaging Serena's clothing choices. Vanderbilt is sporting black fishnet stockings with a low cut tank top that leaves very little to the imagination.
The ladies are using their game pieces to smack the virtual ball back across the court to each other with long hair blowing in the breeze and ample shots of Serena's thong-wearing backside and Rileah's cleavage.
Serena had teased her fans via her Twitter feed that something juicy was coming our way via a new commercial. "Stay tuned for a awesomely sexy video I am tweeting later." Since then there has been silence on her end about the video that Vanderbilt uploaded to YoutTube herself and according to Gawker, Serena then did the same on her own YouTube channel.
Here is what 2K Sports had to say about it in statement issued after the video went viral. "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." If it were so unauthorized, it would have been taken down by the company using the old "copyright infringement" argument.
The fact that it is still circulating after 2K Sports distanced itself from it all is a sign that they are protesting while winking in our direction. It's hard not to speculate on the demographic the commercial was meant to reach. Young women who adore Serena will love her new sassiness and willingness to put her ample behind in our faces as she reaches to hit the tennis ball back to Rileah Vanderbilt.
Women's tennis, unlike basketball and golf has a large male contingent that tunes in to watch matches. Some of that is about sex appeal and yet, the Women's Tennis Association has not utilized that angle to sell tickets to events. They will feature their top women players in their normal mode of dress on the court, which many believe is hot enough without adding garter belts and fishnets.
To prove that point, Ana Kournikova became a star and consequently a model, commercial product spokesman and a favorite screen saver for many a computer around the world without winning much and never appearing in something as steaming hot as this rejected 2K Sports commercial. Maria Sharapova now grosses more revenue through commercial endorsements than any other female sports star and again, without the need of a an outfit that could adorn an S&M video box cover.
Nonetheless, it's interesting to watch the reaction of the general public to the sight of Serena all glammed up and shaking her booty at us. For those that didn't appreciate her talents or her sex appeal prior to this, it might just change a few minds. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons