Sex Doesn't Sell But That Won't End It's Use In Advertising
If you've been reading Adrants for a while or if you've worked in the ad business for more than a day, you are well aware sex plays a big role in advertising. You are probably also aware, or should be, the phrase "sex sells" really isn't all that true all the time.
While everyone likes to create a hot ad featuring hot people who spew endless double entendres every once in a while, it's not always the right direction to take for every brand and target audience. Many times a sex-laced ad can turn people off and do more harm than good to the brand.
Speaking to Violet Blue for her San Francisco Chronicle column, I said, "Initially sexual imagery can 'sell' - when it comes to attracting attention to an ad. After all, humans are innately programmed to respond to titillating imagery and the possibility of sex. It's just in our DNA. So it's natural for marketers to use this attraction and for people to respond. But, it can be a lame cop-out used by marketers who lack imagination to create more compelling work that will sustain itself beyond the initial titillation. Despite studies minimizing its benefits, sex will continue to be used in advertising because it's a quick and easy solution which doesn't require much thought and can garner the immediate attention some marketers need for their promotional efforts. "
No matter it's effectiveness, sex will be used in advertising as long as humans are having sex with each other and that's something that doesn't seem likely to stop anytime soon.