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Why Sex?

Updated on December 13, 2009

You would think that since all adults have had personal experience with sex, it would not be an effective tool in advertising and marketing. Yet, it remains so. The question is why? How does having a hot man or woman acting with sexual innuendo, talking that language or maybe simply just being in the commercial help sell a TV, pants, cigarettes, DVD, etc.?

I mean, its not like most viewers have never been there and done that. No doubt, on multiple occassions, yet, there we are watching TV and some hot being appears selling some thiing and "wild thoughts" dance within your mind for s split second. Think of all viewers from teenagers to elderly being bombarded with the visual message. The elderly probably reflect back when they were in their prime and fantasize. Teenagers do the same but it is a "longing" for. Everyone else is, like, moving to and from temptation quickly.

It seems the public never tires of advertisers using sex to sell. Maybe we see it so often we are numb and this is what "normal" is. I guess why would a product be sold by an ugly person, one whose physical looks is, shall we say, offensive. Actually, some do use this technique for it does attract your attention just as good as sexual innuendo. However, the visual impact is less enduring, so maybe the product follows the same course in one's mind.

Using sexual innuendo holds your attention and allows the product message to get through because one is stimulated psychologically from the sex image, which is the hook, then the image transfers you to the product. You want her or him, so maybe you want the product.

Chevrolet used sex to sell its Corvair in 1966. In the ad, a provacative young woman in a bathing suit proved effective whose main target audience were men. The ad conjures up many possibilities as to what the woman and man in the ad are thinking, about the car, about him, about her. But because she is dressed as she is, the middle aged man is thinking about something and it may not be the car! The ad remains a classic use of sex to sell, unlike today's ads, which are much more blatant, it uses psychology and sexual prowess subtly allowing the reader to fantasize about the ad--and the product!

The Corvair sold over 2,000,000 cars from 1960-69, America's only ever rear engine, aircooled engine. Thus, its advertising was, indeed, effective.

1966 Corvair Ad

This is one of the 60s more blatant ads using sex. It is classic like a Alfred Hitchcock movie, the reader wonders what thoughts both actors have of the car, themselves, or a relationship. Visually appealing, does the man want the car? the woman? is
This is one of the 60s more blatant ads using sex. It is classic like a Alfred Hitchcock movie, the reader wonders what thoughts both actors have of the car, themselves, or a relationship. Visually appealing, does the man want the car? the woman? is


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