Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Does sex sell? Why?

A much more in-depth post from AdRants, definitely raises some good questions and examples about sex in marketing. Steve writes:

"Noting there are far more ads that feature scantily clad women then scantily clad men, one might argue there's a tremendous unfairness going on. True, perhaps, but all one has to do is take a quick look at that industry that knows more about human nature than any marketer ever will, the porn industry. It's focused almost entirely towards men. Why? Because men want it. Men like it. Men need it. Men are attracted to it. The exact same way men are attracted to sexually laced advertising. The approach doesn't always make a great ad but, all other strategies aside, it is most certainly a powerful motivator."

My response: Sex isn't something we should censor, or ignore or hide. We shouldn't live in a puritan society. But, at the same time, so many people take their cues from advertising, and so much negative imagery is out there, showing thin, writhing women showcasing all sorts of products. It might sell, but surely there is a place for sexy and responsible advertising. What might that look like you ask? I'm not entirely sure, but I think it could exist. Any ideas?

Not to mention, when you cater to all of those slathering guys, you're ignoring half of the consumer market: the women. It's interesting how women are stereotyped as shoppers, but not nearly marketed to like a powerful segment of the consumer world. Women have more money and more independant purchasing power than ever. Show us some sexy guys, we'll buy your product.


MaMa-Feminista said...

You should check out current reconfigurations of Laura Mulvey's Gaze Theory. Some feminists are repositioning their arguements in regards to female audience and sexual imagery....really interesting stuff. They are attempting to explain the pull of sexually explict images of women to women.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for that idea- I'm familar w/ the Gaze Theory, but didn't know it was being changed/tweaked/updated. Good to know- I'll check it out!