From the splay-legged Miss January to the high-kicking Miss December, the calendar offers a year's worth of erotic pictures designed to tickle medical specialists accustomed to getting a penetrating view of their patients.
The calendar was conceived by a German ad agency as a promotion to German radiologists for the Japanese electronics maker EIZO, which recently released a new monitor offering high resolution greys that are particularly helpful in illustrating diseased tissue.
The firm hired Düsseldorf-based advertising firm Butter to design a marketing campaign to sell the equipment to German radiologists.
In fact the pictures are not real models, but rather computer-generated images based on “Playboy” model poses.
“Obviously we didn't want to expose models to dangerous radiation,” Butter art director Nadine Schlichte told German daily Financial Times Deutschland.
With the help of a few issues of “Playboy”, the artists analysed “what poses look erotic if you're not actually seeing anything,” she said. They then had a computer generate skeletal versions of the poses.
Nevertheless, the creators strove for authenticity, she added.
“Anyone taking a close look at Miss April can see two silicon bags floating in front of her thorax.”
The finished calendar was sent out to 200 selected medical specialists, which sparked a sensation.
“One doctor who missed out was so thrilled by the idea, that he even offered us a kidney,” said Schlichte.
Amid all the fuss, the actual genesis of the idea has been forgotten, according to Butter's Reinhard Henke, who said they couldn't remember how they actually came up with the concept.
“In the shower – or staring at the wall,” he said.
The advertising industry has been as delighted as the doctors. The Art Directors Club, the leading industry body, gave the calendar the gold prize at its annual awards. It also won silver at the New York Festival and gold at the One Show – one of the annual awards of industry group the One Club.