Saturday, March 8, 2008

Does Sex Sell?

The topic came up with a group of my friends. We saw a tidbit on one of the entertainment shows that Victoria's Secret may be covering up - meaning toning down their new ad campaign. It seems that they feel they are getting too "sexy"and not gearing enough towards the sophisticated side of marketing their lingerie. I do get the Victoria's Secret catalogue and some of the pictorials seem a bit over the top - especially when my daughter is by my side and wants to get a glimpse at the "pretty" girls. I have to turn the pages quickly or just look at the catalogue when she is not in the room.

There are several marketing companies that use sex to sell their products. Have you watched ESPN lately? If not you are missing out on some of the 'hottest" commercials on television. Sexual appeal is not only selling lingerie but beer, chips, cars, water and many other consumer products. Did you see the Paris Hilton ad for burgers? I do not like Paris Hilton - never met her but I just think she is a dumb blond that lives off of daddy's money and the money she has made the last few years with her silly television show and commercials - well, maybe she is not so dumb after all! The commercial brought a lot of attention and I am sure it has been credited with increased burger sales to the establishment, Carl's Jr. If you you have not seen the commercial here it is - sorry if it offends some of you but this is all relative to my article.

My question is...Are you more prone to watch a commercial that is "sexy" - not flip the station - or do you still flip through the stations even when you stumble on a commercial with sexual appeal? I will be honest - I like to watch the commercials. I am an attractive (at least I think so), married woman who likes a bit of eye candy once in awhile. There are two sides - attraction to the men and attraction to the women. I like the commercials where the guys are usually shaving or putting on deodorant. Those commercials usually show a buff guy in a towel. I respect those guys...I know they are just actors doing their job but it took dedication and a lot of hard work to get their bodies in that condition. As long as my kids are not in the room I do not feel a need - or want to switch the channel.

Sex appeal sells because it attracts the attention to the viewers. When marketing "sexual" appeal with your product you must make sure it is done in good taste and not offensive. If there is a way to make it connect to the product you are showing that is a plus! You also have to take into consideration your "branding" of your product, company and/or name. Do not let this type of advertising tarnish what you have worked so hard to establish.

In its February 2008 issue, Playboy ranked the 21 sexiest commercials of all time. There are commercial from 1967 for Noxzema, as well as, the infamous DORITOS 3D ad in 1998 with ALI LANDRY. Of course, Victoria's Secret made the list as well.


Noo said...

The moment sex does not sell is the moment the species starts to disappear.

Raivyn said...

I must agree, it's getting to be a bit much. Look at how society as a whole is changing- kids see sexuality as the 'cool' thing and the way to get the attention they crave. And adults, no need for an explanation.. sex sells now more than ever, and I guess some companies are aching for their share. Understandable from a business point of view, but it's doing a lot more harm than good.. I'm not sure what my point is here- I'm just kind of examining the situation by rambling about it.

I must commend you on your discretion with your kids. I was raised the same way and find values like that a little harder to come by nowadays.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting topic. I noticed you changed your MYBlogLog pic to a sexy one also (that is you right?)

I much prefer the comedic commercials over the sexy ones because my wife gets offended when I watch those sexy commericals, so honestly, they cause me more grief!
I can't be the only guy who gets flack when those ads appear, and honestly, I'd rather just keep peace in my home!
Give me more beer-swilling fat guys telling jokes during the commericals and less 18-yr-olds showing their belly-rings and I'll be happy!

BillyWarhol said...

If Sex Sells I'm BUYIN'!!


Yer Avatar is certainly Sexy enuf thass fer darn sure!

I was disappointed to see yesterday that Kelly Rowlands decided to get a bOOb Job in order to fill her Top out* She was Beautiful b4 + certainly didn't need any embellishments*


The Fitness Diva said...

Of course, sex sells best. When those "special" commercials come on, you can be talking on the phone, watching a dish cooking on the stove, or doing any one of life's daily tasks, but at that moment, we all pause and allow ourselves to get caught up in the moment. Out of desire, curiosity, and just basic humanness, we want to see what the sexy person on the commercial does, and also to catch those mere seconds of a perfect frame of flesh, sexiness, naughtiness, teasing, whatever. For different reasons.
And the Ad Gods figured that out eons ago! We are all victims of our biology!

Victoria's Secret commercials are the master of the game. I find myself riveted to the pouty looks and perfect poses of Adriana Lima, and I'm completely hetero. Don't want to do her, but I enjoy watching her just as much as the horny guy in the apartment next to me.
We are hard wired to be especially tuned in to sexy and attractive people.

By the way, Paris is just shameless!
Such an attention !#$#@.
(begins with a "w")

Alex said...

Sex definitely sells. It often times becomes overdone and just ridiculous. If a product just flaunts a woman's body, I am not going to pay it much attention but if it works the message in a more subtle manner, I am much more likely to remember what it was all about and associate it with sex.

jollyjo said...

It definitely sells but I want to see it flow's when the advertising seems forced that I have a real problem...

Debo Hobo said...

I don't think sex sell it entertains and degrades the gender in the ad. But I am not buying what they are selling by any means.

Oscar said...

I definitely sex stumble

Paul Eilers said...

Yes, sex sells.

But we don't have to buy it.

When it comes to marketing, I much prefer humor to sex. Marketing sex in order to sell is aiming at the lowest common denominator.


Johnny said...


But an even larger question is what is and has been the impact in our society regarding the treatment of women. Of course there are commercials that depict men, but TV ads showing women, are in my opinion "Out of Control".

Now that I have my own daughter who has developed into this 6-foot tall beauty, it has caused me to look at things differently.

P.S. Paris Hilton is just using what’s available to her, wouldn’t you?

Keep in touch...


Zeus said...

There is no second doubt about that fact ... sex sells ... for all ages ... cuz we're living in a world where certain virtues are rated higher than our inner desires ... so it ends up being suffocated as our split personality ... these tools that the marketing and ad agecies use are to trickle that hidden side ...

Gerri said...

sex does sell but the whole idea of it offends a lot of people. it is something that they cant run away from though. I had a discussion about something similar on BC and also put up a short post about profiting from sex. do stop by and take a look:

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