Is sex appeal in advertisements effective or not?-Fabio Piccolotto
  • Sex appeal has been included in advertisements since essentially the beginning of ads and there has been a very heated debate as to whether sex appeal actually works in advertisements or not.
  • Sex in advertisements has not changed very much throughout the course of its time; in fact it is probably the one aspect of ads that has changed the least amount. In the past sex appeal has been tied to various products and services that have absolutely no connection with each other.
Kis-Me_Gum_Flyer-300x271.jpgpn_2897_Image_playboy_first_cover.jpgcalvin-klein.jpg

  • The purpose of putting sex into advertisements is to provide a sense of shock-value to the viewer and to get them to connect the brand of the product being advertised to the sexy and desirable image. When the consumer makes the connection of the sex appeal and the product or service, they will (in theory) be motivated into making a purchase.
  • In the past, advertisements with sex appeal have proven to be quite effective in attracting new potential customers to buying products and services. The shock-value of these ads makes consumers remember the ads that they see with sex in them.
  • Advertisers need to find an optimum balance between using sex appeal and not. Research shows that the shock-value of sex appeal tends to wear off if it is used too much.
  • Today's society is exposed to so much sex appeal in advertisements that consumers do not make the connection between the sex appeal and the product or service. The message and the shock-value has been diluted by everyone using sex appeal in ads.
  • Due to fact that sex appeal is largely based off shock-value, a sensual advertisement can give a brand some form of competitive advantage. However, this competitive advantage can rapidly dissipate unless the consumer's interest with a product or service can be transferred into brand loyalty.
  • Even though sexually appealing ads tend to catch the attention of consumers, the attention is often times directed towards the sexuality of the ad and not the actual brand itself. Upon viewing ads with sexual images, many consumers do not remember what the product or service was or even the brand itself.
  • In order for sex appeal in ads to be successful, there needs to be heavy focus on the product or service that is being sold. The brand image must be clearly and easily visible for the viewer to see so that they remember not only the sex appeal but also the brand.
AXE ad.jpg
TAG Body Spray Commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=mambpzvJyYM
  • Both AXE and TAG do a good job in using sex appeal in advertisements effectively. Note the strong brand references and the strong connection between the sex appeal and the product.

  • The majority of both males and females react positively to sex appeal in ads.
  • Surprisingly, females tend to react more strongly to sex appeal in ads than compared to men.
  • Females find very suggestive ads to be more offensive than compared to men.

Physiological Response to Sex in Advertising: http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/v09/09425t01.gif
Cognitive Response to Sex in Advertising: http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/v09/09425t02.gif
Correlations Between Cognitive and Physiological Responses: http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/v09/09426t03.gif

  • Marketers must be careful, even though most people display strong reaction to sexual ads, sometimes the reactions can be negative and thus make the brand in the ad seem unattractive to the viewer.
  • Even though sex appeal in ads does generate a lot of attention from viewers, it is very difficult to transform that attention into action. This means that the consumers may be aware of your product but they will more than likely not be interested in making the purchase.
Bread ad.pngJeans ad.jpg


PETA ad.jpgThese are three examples of ads that can be viewed as extremely offensive because they are VERY suggestive, there is no onnection between the the product and the actual sex appeal.
Work Cited