We all know the statement “sex sells”, and hear it as an excuse for why products and brands over sexualize their brand/product all the time but the question is why? What about a sexy ad appeals to us consumers?
When marketers use an attractive male/female model, or hint sexual innuendos to sell their product it is because studies have found that we as consumers think less rationally when seeing an attractive person in an ad. A part of our brain becomes excited and causes us to buy on impulse.
Victoria’s Secret uses women whom are believed to be some of the most beautiful models in the world in order to brand their product. Their target market is women, and they are the top lingerie brand in the world (Not to mention their products are not cheap). Their annual fashion show is one of the most watched televised events by females, and they draw in major revenue because of it. They are a major example of sex selling .
In 2012, a simple car like Kia introduced its new Optima by using supermodel Adriana Lima bringing its commercial to the #5 ranking of the best super bowl commercials for the year 2012.
“The findings support the conjecture that some advertisers wish to seduce, rather than persuade, consumers to buy their products.” But just how much companies can “seduce” their consumers is a whole new discussion. Many commercials are banned from being used to the public due to their overly sexual appeal which is believed to be inappropriate by the FCC.
Sex appeal may sell the product at first, but it will not guarantee life-long customers. Companies must also ensure that their product quality meets the standard and demand created by their advertisements in order to gain loyal customers.