Nisaa Ahmed
Sex Appeal in the 80's & 90's

The 80's

- Advertisers were getting more daring with exposing sexuality in advertisings during this time and were taking greater risks
- One of the most provocative ads shot in 1980 was for Calvin Klein jeans. The commercial featured a 15 year old Brooke Shields sitting on the floor, camera centered on her legs that were spread open as she muttered the words “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvin’s? Nothing.”


- It was not only the provocative pose and what she said, that caused a stir, it was also the fact that she was only 15 years old.
- Calvin Klein was accused of exploiting underage sexuality and the ad was banned by numerous networks. However, the sales of Calvin Klein jeans reached over 2 million pairs sold a month and the company generated revenue of about $100 million within a period of 12 months.
- Following the success of this campaign Calvin Klein began to design underwear and began to create campaigns for them.
- The first, featuring a male Olympic athlete wearing the underwear, posing in numerous sexual poses.
- Till this day, Calvin Klein uses similar sex appeal in most of their current ads.

Calvin Klein ad.jpg
The 90’s

- In 1992, the president of Lucky Brands had recently purchased a struggling Abercrombie and Fitch, and decided to work on a new image for the brand.
- He had wanted the campaign and brand to “Sizzle with sex”.
- Hiring the same photographer used in the Calvin Klein underwear, Abercrombie and Fitch released a new campaign featuring a series of images of shirtless men.
- This strategy gave the company 48 consecutive quarters of growth. The company, which currently uses the same strategy in current advertisements, posted net sales of $2.8 billion dollars last year.


Works Cited:

  1. O'Reilly, Terry. "Sex In Advertising." CBC Radio. N.p., 21 2012. Web. 25 Nov 2012. <>.
  2. Felix, Samantha. "16 Ads That Changed How We Think About Sex." Business Insider . N.p., 16 2012. Web. 25 Nov 2012. <>.