Senior Strip with Centrum Silver

I don’t know how I missed this commercial and the ensuing brouhaha in 2007, but I’m on it now! Watch this Centrum Silver commericial before you read on:

So how did you respond to this? I admit I laughed, I enjoyed it. But as a self-professed advocate for ageless sexuality, was I supposed to find it offensive? Hmmmm.

Does it make fun of old people who have sexual thoughts/actions, or does it shout the message that we’re never too old to be sexually adventuresome (even if only in our own mind)? Are the old people the brunt of the joke, or is it the shocked staffer in the doorway? Clearly part of the message is that  we see ourselves as younger than others see us, and we do! Not to this extreme, of course — that’s what makes the video funny.

[AsideThis past week I tried on clothes in front of a well-lighted, 3-way mirror in an upscale store and faced my body in underwear with dismay. I preferred the view ten pounds ago — and before my cataract surgery! And lest you draw my attention to my “Older women wear lingerie” post, thank you, but let’s just say that parts have been shifting, plumping, and loosening since then. Since I hate the stereotype that wrinkles can’t be sexy and we’re supposed to be a certain size and shape, I’m owning my body as it is now. Just had to tell you that, though.]

Ronni Bennett

Back to the commercial — I went looking for commentary on it from seniors, and found that elderblogger Ronni Bennett posted about this video in 2007. (If you don’t follow Ronni’s blog, Time Goes By: what it’s really like to get older, you should.) She quotes Chuck Nyren, who writes a blog,
Advertising to Baby Boomers, and said in his post about this commerical that the elders in the last scene should have been hot looking Boomers.

Chuck Nyren

Although I agree with Nyren that the ad would have appealed more to Boomers that way, isn’t that propagating the stereotype that the age for feeling sexy stops at 61? What do you think?


  1. Regina Lynn on March 27, 2011 at 3:03 am

    I thought it was sex-positive. That no matter how people "outside" view us, we can always see each others' sex appeal and beauty, and take joy in playful sexuality like strip poker.

    I see it as a poke at the institution(e.g., that institutions try to desexualize people, but people can refuse to participate). It's also a pointed message to those who think sex is only for the young and thin.

    In film language, those young actors represent the concept of "sexy and attractive," while the older actors represent the concept of "real people" — who see themselves and each other as sexy and attractive, as well they should. 🙂

  2. Sue Katz on March 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Didn't laugh. I thought the joke was on/about the very idea of old people playing strip-poker. Maybe even of them living in some group setting and thinking of sex at all. Nope, didn't find it amusing.

  3. Joan Price on March 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I missed that salient point too, Chuck! Thanks! Even better, actually, because it had an agenda other than selling a product.

  4. Chuck Nyren on March 26, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Hello, Joan –

    You missed the commercial because it never was a commercial. It's a fake. Some production company made it , tacked on the Centrum Silver logo – and put it up on YouTube.

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