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Why Does Sex In Advertising Sell?

[NOCSEADS]Sex sells. I don’t think anyone out there would argue the point that sex sells. If it wasn’t true advertising companies wouldn’t be spending millions of dollar making sexy ads. Yet even though it’s true you would have to admit that people who buy a product merely because some semi naked woman or man is draped over or seen using it would have to be at the best pretty shallow and at the worst down right stupid. You heard right, if you’re buying something just because of some sexually stimulating advertising then your pretty stupid.

Woman know sex sells and that’s why many of them have breast implants, tummy tucks and botox treatments. I mean you have to look sexy if you’re to be taken seriously right? Men aren’t any better as they bust their balls trying to get that ever evasive six pack, not to mention those poor bastards who shove socks down their jocks in their attempt to fool the passer by that they have more down there than is actually the case. As if people look down there as they’re walking by. Honestly ladies, do you look in that direction just to see what a bloke is really made of?

Really, apart from dating sites why would you need to use sexy people in your ads, apart from the fact that it actually helps your sales?

OK, why don’t we take a look at some of these ads. Let’s start with something very provocative, like shoes. This first shot is of Helena Christensen who goes naked for Reebok shoes. Selling herself short perhaps.

Now we’re looking at the shoes right? :devil_tb: So, one must wonder what the ad is actually trying to portray. Wear our shoes and even you can strut your stuff while going for a naked jog perhaps?

Next let’s take a look at a nice alcoholic beverage.

Yeah baby this one says one of two things, have enough of this rum and you’ll end up with a Brazilian or perhaps you’ll just end up naked? Honestly though would you actually buy it just because of the lovely scenery?

How about we look at a nice perfume ad?

Now what the hell are they insinuating, that you get some Tom Ford on you and next you know you’ll be burying your face between a lovely set of naked breasts? Really, because if that’s the deal I’m off to buy me a case right now. :laugh_tb:

I reckon the guys who are having the most fun are the professional photographers who take these pictures. What the rest of us need is a Nikon, because if the next photo is anything to go by this camera can increase the size of a woman’s breasts.

Yes sirree Bob, I gotta get me one of those if I want to be popular in the local men’s club.

Naturally we can’t have a sexy ad without one featuring a car with a sexy model standing next to it. What say we show you Elle McPherson standing next to a Jaguar.

Yeah baby, I’m going to forgo getting that Ferrari I’ve been saving up for and I’m going to buy me a Jaguar just because they’re gonna throw Elle with it as part of the deal. Seriously, that’s the only way that I would ever buy that Jag.

Last but not least I would like to show you and ad that they had advertising used cars,  BMW nonetheless.

She’s a honey isn’t she? Apparently this caused a bit of a stir as many people found it offensive.

Even after seeing all these ads I don’t understand why they work. I know I don’t let these sort of ads sway my judgment, as much as I like seeing them, and yet there’s probably more than one person who is affected by them. Not one of them has anything to do with the actual product so one just has to ask, why does sex sell in advertising?

OK, OK, don’t anybody say I don’t listen to my readers. For all those women complaining that I haven’t included any photos of near naked men I give you the following, an advert for BANG, a fragrance for men depicting a naked well oiled up Marc Jacobs.

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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 62 Comments

  1. Connecting pleasant thoughts with their brand. I don’t think anyone in their marketing dept actually thinks putting pretty women next to their product will sell more. I am sure they are just trying to reinforce pleasant thoughts and feelings with their brand and eventually that translates into sales. If I think Elle McPherson is hot and see her next to a cool looking car like the Jaguar, then I hear someone talk about Jaguar a week later I’ll remember I saw a cool/sexy looking Jaguar recently and chime in positively. We are subjected to over 6,000 of these signals everyday and over enough time brands are built just by doing that. Sure is interesting to see these all in one place sure you had fun writing this post :)

    1. I have to disagree Josh because if that were true they would either use average looking people wearing normal amount of clothes and not beautiful scantily clad women.

      Take cars for example, you often hear of them being referred to as sexy and I feel that’s the reason for having these women portrayed in the ad. They are sexy and they hope people will feel that the car is sexy or perhaps even that by having a particular car you will attract sexy women.
      Sire recently posted…FlexSqueeze Latest Update Absolutely RocksMy Profile

  2. Well, I can’t tell you what product stuck out in my mind but, I can definitely roll off several of those ads I’m having a hard time forgetting. It’s one thing to use a pretty face in advertising ones product but these examples take that to a whole new level. I am honestly finding it hard to believe that these type of ads sell more products. People may talk about the lady in the photo but certainly they are not recommending others to actually buy the product. I think the person who benefits the most is the photography because it’s his work that people are actually talking about not the product.

  3. I think this notion was carried over through decades of advertisement. Those who make ads grew up believing that sex sells, so it’s what they’re doing now.

    1. That is true Julius but what is it that led them to assume such a thing. Could it be that the first time they tried it sales went up and it went on from there?
      Sire recently posted…The Importance Of Honesty In BloggingMy Profile

  4. “They are sexy and they hope people will feel that the car is sexy…”

    It in a nutshell my friend. Take Reebok for example, if you run and workout enough, you will attract the woman.

    1. Yeah but you can do that barefoot and bare assed too :laugh_tb:

      1. Well that sure depends on where ya live…..unless you’re insane of course.

  5. Twitter:
    Dude, are you kidding? As much as you talk about sex you know why it works. The world is based on sex. Forget advertising for a moment. What drew you to your wife? Maybe not necessarily sex directly, but I bet she was attractive, dressed nicely, and you were interested. That happens to all of us. Some happen to meet women when they’re wearing more or less clothes than the next woman, but it doesn’t matter overall.

    It’s the attraction. We’re all attracted to someone, whether it’s someone we want to get to know better or not. These days, the MTV generation has taught us that there’s only seconds to catch our attention before we move onto the next thing. There’s only three ways to catch our attention in TV commercials; something funny, very delicious looking food, or attractive people, scantily clad or not. In print, only the last one has a chance to really take hold.

    It’s not the point of whether or not the product is actually sold as much as it makes people stop and take a look. And let’s be truthful here, you only posted pictures of pretty women; you didn’t post a single picture of a good looking guy because that doesn’t attract you at all, and most of your visitors are men. Heck, for my post last week on sexting, I went looking for pictures of men who took pictures of themselves with a cell phone, and couldn’t find even one. But I at least tried. I did! :unsure_tb:

    1. Yep, I know why they do it I’m just saying that just because you stick some pretty gal next to a car is no reason for a person to buy it. You say that the idea of using them is so that people notice the product but I say what they really notice is the sexy gal and not the product at all.

      As to the wife I only went to see her to shut my parents up as they were wanting to marry me off. I don’t even remember what she was wearing but yes she was attractive.
      Sire recently posted…FlexSqueeze Latest Update Absolutely RocksMy Profile

      1. Twitter:
        You mean you had one of those arranged marriages? I didn’t think that even still existed! And for some people, they will actually buy the product because they were enticed to stop and look at the women in the ad. A study that was written about in the Journal of Consumer Research in 2009 stated that sex sells, but not in all ways. So, I guess in some ways it doesn’t work, in others it does. Think about how many Jordache jeans sold when Brooke Shields wore them in the 80’s.

        1. No, not arranged as such. They were throwing women my way hoping one would catch my eye and I was getting pretty tired of the whole thing so I told them this would be the last time. Turned out I liked her but she didn’t like me. In the end I won out.

          Heard of Brook Shields but not those jeans.
          Sire recently posted…The Need For Speed Computer StyleMy Profile

          1. Yeah, what’s up with that. No photos of Men? lol

            1. Not anymore Rose, I’ve put one in there just for you to drool over.

            2. That doesn’t make me drool, but thanks. Oh and it does NOT make me rush out to purchase the cologne either lol

          2. Twitter:
            How could she not have liked you? What, did you start off telling her that joke you videotaped? lol

            1. No, that was way before I was doing videos of myself, which even then is better than sexting :tongue_laugh_ee:

  6. Fully agree with your post. Sex sells that’s why the big companies pays huge amount of money to hot and blonds. If a normal company promote their product with a hot celeb then it definitely catch the eyes of most.

    1. I know it sells Sam, I’m asking your opinion as to why

  7. Hi Sire,

    Awesome topic — and I mean that with no sexual intention — I just enjoyed reading this because it’s something that you won’t usually see on other blogs :)

    Sex makes us feel good about something, and ads that incorporate sex do trigger that happy feeling on the viewers’ minds. I do think that the intention is not to sell, it’s just to brand themselves as a product that’s pleasurable (knowing that it’s the first thing that comes to mind if the product’s name pops to mind).

    In short, they are conditioning the consumers’ mind to something they will always remember the product because of the pleasure it gives them visually, and it does work :)

    Jason Acidre

    1. Yeah, I know the reason behind it all, I’m just amazed that everyone falls for it, so much so that they go to greater lengths to shock people, as in that last ad that got them into trouble.

      Makes them feel good about themselves or just straight out horny? :devil_tb:

  8. Here’s the thing about advertising… most of it isn’t designed to sell anything. The role of advertising is merely to put a name, or product, or brand into your head. And to do it often enough so that when you are ready to buy a thing you will buy the one you have the most familiarity with, or best emotional attachment to.

    The role of the sex in the advertising is even a step removed from this. Its role is to get your attention so you’ll look at the ad. It’s like advertising for the advertising. And I don’t know too many things that are better at getting your attention than a piece of bare flesh. :-)

    As for the Jag, maybe it’s our different heritages, but I’d go for the Jag over the Ferrari any day… a much more refined automobile :-P

    Kind regards,

    1. Here’s the thing Steve, being an Aussie, something that you know a lot about, if you stick a naked sheila in front of a car I’m not even going to notice the car. Put her in front of a beer, well that’s something else entirely. :laugh_tb:

      1. Aussie women are smarter than that… they know better than to get between us and beer.

        1. Yeah, we’re pretty lucky that way. lol

  9. First of all my breast are real and I have way too much tummy to be tucking. lol I don’t need to sell myself because hubby likes me just fine, but I understand what you are saying and it is Media that makes women feel insecure about their body. Woman’s entire self esteem is hinged on how our body looks.

    Anyway to answer your question sex sells- advertisers know this so they use what sell. Honestly though I would not purchase those Reebok shoes based on that photo. I guess you have to ask as you did what underlining message is being sold with the ad.

  10. @Sire,
    Bang on. Silicon and and various ‘lifting’ and anti-ageing sell for sure – everywhere, not just in advertising. I liked your socks in jocks phrase. Lol! I think jerks are available everywhere in various forms.

    I tend to agree to mitch to some extend on the ‘law of attraction’ part. I mean, regardless of whether it’s arranged marriage or not, usually it’s the attractiveness that make you fall for someone first, while other things play a bigger role, but later. In the case of advertising, the product has to sell within the first three seconds of the commercial run and hence sex and nudity is one of the easiest options over stuff like money or humor.
    Ajith Edassery recently posted…Make Money Online via Reseller HostingMy Profile

    1. Yeah Ajith, and it would all make perfect sense if they were selling something of a sexual nature but half the time they’re not.

      Personally I think that these ads are old hat and those advertisers that continue to peddle sex to sell their products are just too lazy to come up with something more original.

  11. You didn’t half pick some extreme examples there Sire! That alcohol one, is that for real? Maybe I’m just being a British prude but I can’t imagine seeing that in one of our glossy magazines.

    The funny thing is, I head over here after leaving a reply to your comment about my video. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s a Christmas video, I’m wearing tinsel and a smile. I didn’t do it because I thought it would encourage more people to donate bricks, it was just a bit of fun. But now I’m worrying about my motives :roll: ;)

    1. Hey no fair, why do the … ooh, was about to moan cos the smileys didn’t work but I’ve just spotted the option at the top. Wonder if this will work? :clap_tb:

    2. As far as I can tell they’re all legitimate ads, and I probably did go for the best of them.

      Oh yeah guys, you really have to see it and believe me when you do you will click the ‘retweet’ button.

      Eleanor I wish you all the best of luck with that too. I reckon I may even do a post about it, but only so I can have that video on my blog :devil_tb:

    1. Sure Colleen but why do so many people get sucked in by sex? It’s not like they’re gonna get any if they buy the product

  12. Sire, I haven’t been persuaded to buy any of the products advertised in any of the ads reproduced by you. But, give me any of the models other than the last one, any time and I will drool.

    1. Nor would I be mate, but I sure do like looking at them. In fact I think the ad would be so much better if they simply left the product out. :laugh_tb:
      Sire recently posted…The Need For Speed Computer StyleMy Profile

  13. Sex makes the world go round, Sire.


  14. Sex sells because Americans have been conditioned to be hypocritical sexually repressed robots who consider seeing each other as sex objects as “normal”. It is NOT.

    It is bad enough that most Americans equate nudity with sex. (One has little to do with the other.) Now the media show what would have once only been seen in a sleazy coin-operated machine in some bad neighborhood sex shop during “Prime-time” “family” television hour.

    Someone told me Oprah floated the idea that 1/3 of all women regularly watch porn and her audience not only did not clap – they were stunned into silence. I did not see that and do not watch Oprah so that could have been misinterpreted. I can assure you though that one-third of all women are not wasting their time watching porn no matter what the media would like you to think.

    It IS obvious that the media want us to all believe that watching porn is normal, that most people pay for lapdances and to watch pole dancers, that serial murders abound in the U.S. and the only topics to portray in movies or television are murders, rapes, cops, and emergency rooms. Blood and gore everywhere.

    As one wise person quipped, “Judging by American television half of all Americans have been raped or murdered and the other half are busy trying to solve the crimes”.

    Advertising doesn’t work well on people who actually think for themselves but apparently it triggers the need to buy in robotic morons.

    P.S. To any man who thinks what happens in a porn movie is sex. You’re an idiot. A man could have all the real sex he wanted if he only understood one simple little concept: women are NOT sex objects or objects of any kind. As long as you just want to get laid you won’t. As soon as your desire is for one particular woman that you treat lovingly with respect who feels the same way about you THEN you would have all the love making you could fit into your schedule.

    P.P.S. Anyone who buys a Jaguar or any British car that starts with a J like Jensen Healey will live to regret it. British cars and those in particular are not known for reliability.

    P.P.S. The woman in the perfume ad is clearly implying oral sex. Good to see Sire that you focus more on women than porn.

    1. I actually saw that show and the audience did actually clap. As you know Oprah seems to do a fair bit of research before conducting a show and it appears that the porn industry has changed so as to appeal to the female audience. The males are sexier and the plot includes more romance and stuff with a better story line. Apparently it’s very popular with the women.
      Sire recently posted…FlexSqueeze Latest Update Absolutely RocksMy Profile

      1. There was a woman owned company that supposedly produced movies that actually had plots; however, it is still a bad idea to objectify people. Instead of that getting better now we’re doing it to men too.

        I wonder why that guy said they didn’t clap? Maybe he wasn’t paying attention. I still don’t believe that 1/3 or women “regularly” watch porn. Perhaps my idea of “regularly” (weekly or at least monthly) is not THEIR definition of “regularly. I would believe that many women had seen some.

        Are you going for the cash in the FamousBloggers CommentLuv blogging contest? If you don’t, we’ll be needing more judges if you’re interested. You know the prize is up to $3550 now?

        1. No, I’m not going for the cash, I stopped doing contests ages ago. I did notice that it had gone up though and that is a respectable amount.

          As to porn, the Oprah show suggested it could be used to enhance the sexual relationship of couples so it’s not just the odd bloke sitting alone while wanking off in front of the TV screen.

          Last porn movie I remember seeing was Debbie Does Dallas and that would have been some 30 odd years ago. I wonder if I dare suggest to the wife that we grab one of the newer ones to see how much they’ve improved? :jittery_tb: :tongue_rolleye_ee:

          1. Twitter:
            They haven’t improved… uhhh, so I’ve been told. :innocent1_tb:

  15. Twitter:
    Of course I do; I know lots of people after all :cool1_tb:

    1. Of course you do.

  16. A little late to the convo, but peter petterson (which is hilarious given my name is peterson), is pretty much dead on. Sex makes the world go round.

    It’s g-l-u-e and it’s about eyeballs and getting them to stick to the brand with the glue. I actually think brands who do this want to be associated with sex. If they didn’t, like you said in the first reply, they would associate normal looking people – the kind of people who buy their stuff.

    And the other truth (probably controversial but nonetheless, true) is that *both* men and women would prefer to see pretty/sexy women so that’s why there’s about just as much sexy-looking women in women’s magazines as there is in men’s. These marketing people are pretty smart and they use a lot of research to make these decisions.

    1. Yep, these marketing people are smart and we, or at least the majority of their targets are just so dumb. As much as I like looking at pretty women it doesn’t make me remember the product only the gal in the commercial. I much prefer those ads such as the one in my post on the Hyundai which you will see in the commentluv link.
      Sire recently posted…Introducing The Hyundai i45 SedanMy Profile

  17. Hey so the funny thing about this post is that I started looking at it from the bottom up when I landed on the page and started looking at the pictures but at work I had to cover my screen a bit. I knew it was sex sells just by the pictures before I read it.

    But sex sells because we are just plain out horny man. We lust that stuff…. We go to strip clubs… prostitution goes on. We get that feeling that is no other way achieved from sex. Did not mean to be so dirty in this post man.

    Godaddy drives on sexy! Honestly I love it. When my company gets big I want to host events with models because I know I will be remembered that way.
    Brian P recently posted…Playing Games Online and Win Real Money Online At MyScratchOff.comMy Profile

        1. Yeah, won as well but too little too late I’m afraid. It’s no good complaining about the refereeing either as that’s all in the past, but honestly it’s pretty woeful and it could have been a lot better. Still, shit happens.

          Go USA, unless you’re playing Italy that is lol
          Sire recently posted…Blog Save The Akismet, Long Live The AkismetMy Profile

  18. Supermodels get the job done anytime anyday. They simply strike a pose, make the product look fabulous and I’m dying to have it. I guess they are just feeding off our innate desires to look amazing ;-)

      1. LMAO. I’m so telling on you. Where’s your wife’s email address?

  19. It’s genetic. We’re wired that way. Even an older, I mean a mature woman like me knows can get bowled over by pictures of sexy men. Men especially with all that extra teststorerine (can’t spell it but know what it is) anyway its genetic and hormonal and I thank God for it. Sex is made so dirty and its not. Yes it sells, because we like it and what’s wrong with that? It’s when we forget that every one of us is a human being with feelings and not an object that it causes problems.

  20. you are right. I was in a bad mood that night I think. Felt feisty or something that evening.

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