The general belief seems to be, we subconsciously buy what we think will either attain us that person or we would be as attractive as that person in the event we purchase that particular product.
Many people think of using sex as an advertising weapon is a somewhat recent evolution – perhaps arising from the free loving 60′s.
This is not so. The use of sex has been around pretty much as long as advertising has. Back in 1871, the Pearl Tobacco brand featured a naked woman on the packet cover.
The earliest forms of blatant usage of sex for advertising were on a wood carvings with illustrations of attractive women often unclothed from the waist up featuring in ads for all types of businesses and in particular the presumed culprits of saloons, tonics, and tobacco.
In a few note worthy cases, sex in advertising has been claimed as the reason for increased consumer interest and sales.
Ok, so sex sells. We knew that. However, interestingly, a study by Iowa State University discovered that viewers of programs with violent or sexually explicit content were, on average, less likely to remember commercials immediately after watching and even 24 hours later. So, it seems that less is more.
Let’s face it, in most cases it does not or, or at least it shouldn’t. There has been a growing number of Internet marketers attempting sex in advertising. These have been mainly digital product owners in the get rich quick world who are using paid actors to represent their product presentation on video – usually women with deep cleavage and sultry come on.
Bottom line – it cheapens the product you’re trying to sell and it is somewhat degrading. We have noted other Websites in the tech niche attempting the same. Too many people are going down the road of sex in their marketing efforts when the confection is 100% inappropriate.
Deciding to use the provocative approach for just ant product is crazy. Attempting to attract buyers with sexual eye candy when you’re selling crafts would be as asinine as trying to pedal crack outside the police station It seems that people are not in touch with their target audiences or assuming their audience has a profile of some lonely male geek wanting a tech toy.
We think they would be very surprised to learn that the demographic is way broader than that and entertains a respectable female demographic in the market share.
“Attempting to attract buyers with sexual eye candy when you’re selling crafts would be as asinine as trying to pedal crack outside the police station…”
If you’re thinking about utilising the power of sex in advertising in your Website, use it wisely. Beautiful people, as society may perceive them to be, are an effective tool. A good looking man or woman holding your product may assist attention and interest.
However your model(s) do not need to be scantily clad or seductive. You see, the real power is that people are drawn to faces. Inanimate objects like bicycles are not going to grab much attention. However, put a fit looking person on the bicycle and your message is a subtle suggestion that using this product will help you to look this good. Simple.
Your approach would be different if you were selling baby strollers.You certainly would not be looking for sex in advertising with this product – would you???
Do you want to place a couple depicting a sex goddess and some Herculean male pushing the stroller? Of course not.
You would have average people that depict parenthood. If the husband has a slight paunch and the woman looked a little dishevelled we would relate to that – they are parents.
By the way, ‘getting real’ with any negatives such as looking dishevelled may not be the best idea because the suggestion would be the stroller is not solving the mothers problem – i.e. easy use/quiet child/happy thoughts – you get the idea…
Think ‘people in advertising’ rather than ‘sex in advertising‘ and you will likely see improved results.