Nudity and Sex in Advertising

Sex SellsIt is a fact that sex and nudity sells. Sex in Advertising is the use of sexually provocative or erotic imagery (or sounds, suggestions, and subliminal messages) that are specifically designed to arouse interest in a particular product, service or brand. When a sexy, semi-naked woman appears on the cover, it outperforms an image of a male star, even if that star is someone men want to read about

 

Pearl TobaccoA walk down the memory lane takes us to around 1871 when a cigarette manufacturing company, Pearl Tobacco, used a nude maiden on its packaging cover.

15 years later in 1885, another cigarette manufacturing company called Duke & Sons used the images of actresses on their packaging covers. The covers were deemed to be too sexually provocative. Nobody cared so long as the products were flying off the retailers’ shelves and the sales kept growing! The main business of all business entities is to do business.

In the early 1970s, the bug of nudity and sex in advertising started biting the beauty industry. Procter & Gamble was blazing the trail with their famous campaign tagline which was full of sexual innuendos.

Need we mention about Calvin Klein and its advert which featured a 16-year-old Brooke Shields? However controversial the slogan used was, the advertising executives at Calvin Klein admitted that the slogan drove the sales through the roof. Slowly, nudity and sex in advertising were now becoming the key sales drivers.

Calvin Klein Jeans Brooke

Based on the history adduced from the readings above, it is very clear that nudity and sex in advertising is a key factor. In this scenario, the sexual appeal is in an advert in order to help push the sales of a certain product and service.

How Nudity and Sex in Advertising Work

Human beings have a lizard brain (old brain) which is for survival. This brain pays attention to only three items: danger, food, and sex. Apart from the lizard brain, there is the mid and new brain which is situated on top of the lizard brain. This brain is responsible for controlling the logical thinking and emotions. Psychologists say that human beings are never aware of the lizard brain because of the way it operates – subconsciously. This bit of the brain is constantly searching for triggers that could indicate danger, anything that can be eaten and anything that human beings can have sex with. If an advertising message that connotes sex pops up, the lizard brain gets activated. After this activation, it becomes very difficult to ignore the advert.

Human beings are bound to react to anything sexual. It is important to note that sexual messages in this context are not necessarily photos of completely nude persons. Rather any body part works effectively. It could be an elbow or hair.

Human Brain in Nudity

While nudity and sex in advertising is a strong selling point, there are some products and services that cannot be associated with eroticism. In fact research shows that the moment these products and services are associated with sex, their brand gets hurt when potential clients start reading through the tricks involved.

The target audience of any product and service should be put into consideration when deciding whether to use nudity and sex in advertising. A much older audience will appreciate taglines that are a bit artistic but not direct. Further to this, this audience may feel that sexuality is degrading. The younger generation is more direct and appreciative of the use of sex in advertising.

Save

Sharing is Caring...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook107Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest1Share on LinkedIn12Share on Reddit0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Tumblr0Buffer this pageDigg thisShare on VK

2 thoughts on “Nudity and Sex in Advertising

  1. Pingback: Nudity and Sex in Advertising — Vritomartis Blog | Naturist Holidays in Europe

  2. Pingback: Mythologies- Barthes on… psychoanalysis and cleaning products – The Wolfe Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *