Does Sex Sell?

As we all know, marketing and advertising is extremely important for any company. Especially when trying to sell a particular product, advertisements must be made in a way that will arouse interest in its viewers. Simply put, sex in advertising (beautiful women and handsome men) lure in a viewer, reader or listener, no matter what.

Sex As a Selling Tool:

For as long as I can remember, sex has been used as a selling tool. As humans, our brains are wired to respond to certain urges, meaning that we respond to sexual imagery very strongly. Using sex as a selling tool is not necessarily the right thing to do but hey, why not take advantage of it if you can? It can give you or your company that extra boost that it needs.

Take Miley Cyrus for example. She sings and used to be an actress, but all she really needs to do is post a sexy picture of herself or a revealing outfit to Instragram and she instantly gets attention. More people become interested when they see that in the headlines. Many celebrities use this to their advantage- having a perfect body and knowing how to use it to get noticed.

Does Sex Actually Sell?

It is a fact that sex does sell. We see this being used all around us in magazines, television ads, billboards… basically everywhere you look! When a sexy, semi-naked woman appears on a cover of a magazine, men are going to be aroused and interested in buying/looking at the particular magazine. When girls see this same image, they are also drawn to this woman and therefore the magazine because the body and sex appeal is something that all girls want. They look up to these women and because of society, women think that that’s what they should look like. So when ads are sexually provocative, everyone is drawn to them, which means more products sold. If an ad creates a sexual situation, it will get the desired response.

 The Inevitable Issues:

All magazines use photoshop and re-touching to make the models appear to have the perfect and most ideal body, skin, hair, etc. This gives an unrealistic expectation to young people everywhere on how to attain our society’s idea of beauty and trying to be perfect. There seems to always be a new headline of Beyonce or some other star who was caught photoshopping their pictures, and failing miserably.

There is also an issue with using sex to attract viewers to a product, which is that the sex appeal may take away from the product that is actually being sold. We are all naturally inclined to be attracted to certain features, but that might get in our way when buying a product. It might be distracting and actually be a negative aspect to a company.

Trying to Fix It:

Companies everywhere are trying the honest approach in advertising rather than resorting to using sex to sell their products. One campaign that you should check out is Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. Dove believes that there is a “wider definition of beauty” and it is proven that our definition of beauty has become limiting and unattainable.”

Since 2004, Dove has been doing everything they can to challenge beauty stereotypes and they want to encourage women to help change society’s view on beauty. Dove aims to “make beauty a source of confidence, not anxiety.” 

All in all, sex used sparingly is a strong selling mechanism. But if you abuse it, you will ultimately lose out. You want to be careful not to let this idea of beauty distract you from your own beauty, as you are all beautiful inside and out!