In today's society, we as consumers are exposed to media on a daily basis. Beginning the day with a glance at the daily newspaper and finishing the evening with a television program, the average person cannot escape the clutches of the media in its seemingly endless forms. Along with presenting objective information that includes local news, weather, and sports, a main function of modern media is advertising.
Two effective methods of catching the eyes of the consumer are the use of either sexual attraction or humor as a focal point of an advertisement. For the past few decades, sex has been a consistent means of selling products, while humor has just recently become a major advertising technique. The two popular phrases, "sex sells" and "the shortest distance between two people is a good laugh," can definitely be used to characterize the majority of advertising in the 1990s. Despite the widespread success of using sex to sell products, there have been numerous negative repercussions as well, including diminished consumer self esteem, customer dissatisfaction with products, and slight community unrest due to racy situations depicted in certain ads. However, humor in advertising has not been met with these challenges yet. Until advertisers discontinue using human sexuality in ads, these problems will not cease. The ways in which human sexuality is used to promote products are fairly simple.
Sex in advertising attracts attention to products for an obvious reason--it is sex! Companies design advertisements according to what the audience desires to get the best possible response (Percy 26). Since the 1980's sex has been overwhelmingly present in advertising (Martin...
... middle of paper ...
...mpletely, humor in advertising should be considered by companies in the future. It could alleviate present problems associated with sex and offer some perks to both advertisers and consumers. Let's give it a try.
Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London: Penguin, 1972: 129-54.
Bonvillian, John. "First Impressions." Psychology 101. Class Lecture. Gilmer Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville. October 1999.
Martins, Maria Cristina da Silva. Humor and Eroticism in Advertising. San Diego: San Diego State University Press, 1995.
Percy, Larry, and John R. Rossiter. Advertising Strategy. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1980.
Sutherland, Max. Advertising and the Mind of the Consumer. Sydney: Griffin, 1993.
Waldenmaier, George. "Animal Behavior." Biology 122. Class Lecture. Classroom, Nandua High School, Onley. April 1999.
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