SEX-VERTISING – Use of Sex as an Advertising Tool

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SEX has been used as a tool to attract attention by brands over a long period of time. Advertisements in both print and digital media extensively use women and sometimes even men in skimpy clothes or suggestive postures in order to sell a certain product. In some cases the product may be related to sexual activities like in the condom ad below for Ansell, however, in other cases the product being advertised have no such correlation as evident from the Carl’s Jr burger advertisement with Paris Hilton.

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Carl’s Jr ad uses different kinds of tactics including a celebrity in skimpy clothes and a suggestive double meaning tag line that is definitely supposed to get attention from their target customers, which are young and adult males.

In modern times it is no longer only brands who use sex to sell their products but even individuals are using sex to create a brand image for themselves. A major example is Miley Cyrus, the sweet girl who attained stardom as a child from the TV Show Hannah Montana. She realized that sex can become a huge platform to build up her fan base among adults and portray her as a brand. She has been twerking and performing in sexually suggestive clothing on stage to gain attention of the media and fans while also using social media outlets like Instagram to constantly keep her new found image alive through pictures and videos of her in sexual outfits, positions and references. It also helps that she has an attractive body which helps makes her get fans even with some outrageously gross and weird sexual movements like the ones below.

Bands and Singers have over the years used music videos to promote their bands by showcasing girls in skimpy clothes gyrating to songs with demeaning and obscene lyrics. This is even more blatant in India where the same is being done even in mainstream films. Most of the time these songs are ill placed and out of context from the storyline of the movie and are basically used as a promotional tool to attract the main target audience of moviegoers which are teenage and college going males.

Such videos while most likely are made for a target audience but also attract audiences from other groups of viewers such as children who also get exposed to sex a lot earlier in their lives through social media and television. However, sexism does help them get more revenues as more and more people love to watch such videos and get attracted by suggestible dance moves and the semi-clad sexy girls with hot bodies.

So, what is it that makes us attracted towards such advertisements and what influences our purchase behavior. Darwin’s theory of evolution reveals how humans have always been sexual beings and desire love and companionship. It is this desire that advertisers target by conditioning human minds with erotic images presented in the most attractive manner along with their products that triggers the fantasies of the audience. This method helps them condition the viewer’s minds and get higher exposure for their brand, product or even a cause by relating it to something that the viewer would want to see or hear again and again. This is why car launches are usually associated with bikini wearing girls and men’s perfume ads showing sexy girls with erotic expressions. Even animal rights organization PETA uses sex hoping to turn meat loving people into vegan in this following video.

While this strategy works well in lots of cases and has been used by campaigners over many years, it also has its demerits as it can also risk the product losing a certain group of audience who may find such ads sexist and demeaning for the models and for women in general.

Source Links:

http://www.darwins-theory-of-evolution.com/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/madeline-wahl/why-its-unfortunate-that-sex-sells_b_5433251.html

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/relevant-marketing-consumer-behavior-theories-20800.html

http://www.mhlearningsolutions.com/commonplace/index.php?q=node/5957

Baibhab Mahapatra 214311899

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