Sex And Advertising: The Influence Of Sex In Advertising

Satisfactory Essays
Everyone is born with sexual desire (Kalb). Therefore, sex is sometimes successful when used in advertising to sell products because consumers can easily relate to its tempting value (“Does Sex Really Sell?”). Sex in advertising is the use of explicit sexual content or suggestions in order to sell a service or product. It has been stated that sex is one of the primal urges found in humans, and “this underlying, pre-programmed disposition to respond to sexual imagery is so strong, it has been used for over 100 years in advertising” (Sugget). However, using sex in advertising to sell products is only successful if the right group of people are targeted, the product is sex-related, or the advertising company is popular and well-experienced enough to correctly use this marketing strategy.
Personalization and relevancy are important components when trying to deliver advertising campaigns that are successful. The basic and essential goal of many advertisers is obtaining the attention of the audience that they are targeting (Cyprus). As the internet has improved over the last 20 years, it has become much easier for sexually graphic material to find its way into people’s homes. By targeting the right people, sexual ads can sometimes attract the viewers’ attention. For example, sex is sometimes more effective when young men are the target (“Does Sex Really Sell?”). Men are typically attracted to provocative imagery in ads. Studies by popular magazines such as FHM and Maxim have shown that semi-naked and sexy women on the magazine’s cover attract men more than a magazine with a famous male star on the cover would, even if the famous male is someone that the men would like to read about. Men genetically respond to sexually provoca...

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...such as David and Victoria Beckham, Christiano Ronaldo, and Meagan Fox.
Meanwhile, Nissan displays sexy women in bikinis in their ads. In 2011 viewers were disappointed to see a Nissan commercial featuring a comparison of a model wearing a bikini and a Nissan Juke side-by-side. Many people did not find the ad amusing, claiming that it was rather sexist, instead of sexy. These companies’ logic is to demonstrate how their products can help meet consumers’ needs of love, desire, intimacy, and romance (Rogers).
“We are sexual beings,” and therefore, marketers use consumers’ sexual impulses to their advantage (Raszl). Sex has traditionally been a topic not talked about or openly discussed, but today it is rarely taken as a surprise (“Does Sex Really Sell?”). It can be concluded that although sex doesn’t always sell, it definitely draws some form of attention (Kalb).