Trim your rambutan, smooth as lychee: Suggestive ad has Malaysian netizens quizzing why fruits and not flowers for privates

PHOTO: Screengrab from Facebook/Panasonic Beauty Malaysia, Twitter/@nhdyhzz

Coming up with fresh advertising ideas isn't easy, especially if you're looking to create risque content.

A viral tweet on Wednesday (Nov 10) — with over 8,100 retweets and 13,200 likes — has put a spotlight on an old Panasonic ad in Malaysia. For a men's body hair trimmer, it had local fruit imagery seemingly resemble parts of the male genitalia.

Among the replies in the viral tweet were unhappy netizens questioning the double standards when it came to the naughty bits between the genders. 

In September, feminine care brand Libresse received backlash after running a campaign with vulva imagery on its sanitary product packaging as reported in Coconuts KL. 

PHOTO: Screengrab from Twitter

In a Facebook post in the same month, Yadim Muslim Women's Council claimed the Libresse's ad "undermined the dignity of women and violates the norms of decency" in Malaysian society. Later that day, Libresse withdrew its ad and issued an apology via Instagram.

However, when Panasonic's 20-second video ad was shared in March, it was generally well-received, garnering over 200,000 views and 1,200 comments. The ad's caption teased with words like "don’t let your Rambut-ans get out of hand" and "get silky smooth like a lychee".

"Whoever thought of the idea for this ad should get a raise. That is accurately funny," one Facebook user commented in the video ad.

In September 2017, Slimme White — a skin whitening and slimming product — received flak after their advert suggested that only slim and fair-skinned women could hold on to their husbands.