Sex in Advertising

Lets not kid ourselves ,Sex Sells, even in this ‘woke’ era. It has always been like this and will continue to do so.

Sex attracts attention. Though it’s often a taboo subject, companies that use sex in their marketing often create effective and memorable campaigns. Brands such as Victoria’s Secret and GoDaddy have created ads that might not even talk about the product but simply gain viewers’ attention. In sales, gaining the attention of clients and potential buyers is often half the battle.

Many kinds of companies use sex in their advertisements. Some might use sexual imagery to display a product like lingerie or underwear; others might use it to discuss a medical product like prescription medication or condoms. But some companies use sex solely to gain viewers’ attention. For example, an advertisement for Carl’s Jr. created controversy when it featured Kate Upton seductively eating a cheeseburger. While many people were discussing how the ad had nothing to do with the quality of the cheeseburger, this approach gained quite a bit of publicity.

There is of course also a cultural difference around the globe. In some countries the imagery used might be more graphic then in other countries. For example the Dutch state lotto had an ad in the 90s showing a naked woman in the shower. When she turned on the shower the lotto balls fell down on her. Staying on the shower team. FA shower gel would use naked or topless women to sell their products in most European countries

Advertisers use a variety of methods to incorporate sex. For instance, Old Spice and Axe supposedly make men more desirable, according to their commercials.

In perfume ads, only the most attractive women use the perfume, insinuating that if you use that type of perfume, you will also be beautiful. Sex is used to sell magazines with only the “sexiest men alive” being featured. Sports Illustrated sells a yearly subscription to many users who want it only for the swimsuit edition.

The use of sex in advertising can be highly overt or extremely subtle and, on some level, subliminal. It ranges from relatively explicit displays of sexual acts and seductive behavior aimed at the viewer, to the use of double-meanings and underlying sexual references that are more subconscious. Sex in advertising relies on evolutionary processes and varies in effectiveness depending on the culture and gender of the receiver. The use of sex in advertising has been criticized for its tendency to objectify the female body and emphasize various stereotypes.

Gallup & Robinson, an advertising and marketing research firm, has reported that in more than 50 years of testing advertising effectiveness, it has found the use of the erotic to be a significantly above-average technique in communicating with the marketplace, “…although one of the more dangerous for the advertiser. Weighted down with taboos and volatile attitudes, sex is a Code Red advertising technique … handle with care … seller beware; all of which makes it even more intriguing.” This research has led to the popular idea that “sex sells”.

sources

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2649-sex-sells-more.html

2 Comments

  1. Your pointing out how Holland used nudity in advertising in the 90’s reminded me of a instance I recall from back in the 70’s. Back then I would visit my Oma in Hilversum (I’m from the US). We would watch TV in the evening before bedtime (Fabeltjeskrant, Calimero, etc) and I recall one commercial for margarine. The containers for the margarine were shaped like scallop shells and they were shown being harvested by young women in an exotic tropical setting who would dive off little boats and collect them from the sea floor. The young women were topless. Coming from the very conservative/ prudish US this was quite a culture shock. My Oma didnt even raise an eyelid in surprise.

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