Sex sells

Sex sells…and everyone knows this. That’s why advertising is based 99% on sexual images which are used as tools to promote a product or a service, or a brand in general. Sexuality can have more effects on the viewer, who allows them to develop a stronger relationship with the brand.

 I can’t see an apparent difference between all this actual campaigns. They are unrepresentative of real life and you never really knew what the ad is selling, but we can see from both pictures from underneath that women have become sexual objects for men. I think they are mentally built in such a way that makes them think that they can take what they want, a lot more that women. According to “Journal of Consumer Research vol.36”, “women in particular dislike the gratuitous use of sex in advertising” in comparison with men who “preferred the ad featuring the sexual image (compared to the nonsexual image)”.

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“Desire” is the most common strategy, mainly used in perfume ads. For example “The first flagrance for men from Tom Ford” has sexual connotation and it makes men to think that if they are going to buy the perfume, then they will also going to have more success at girls. (What??!) I really think that this advertising campaigns acts like a “spell” and people who are catch in the “magic” become something like… blind. We are always dreaming at unreal things and I’m not saying that isn’t good to do this, but what’s too much is too much.


The real problem about this exaggerate campaigns is that when we buy we are “buying ourselves” (Craik) or how we want to be and this can affect people’s minds, in general kids who don’t understand and wish to became like the person they see in the ad. Another consequence is that, in time, people are going to hate themselves because they can’t look like all the “perfect” people. Why should we let us influenced by these?

Nowadays we focus only on our body rather than our personality. We can’t wake up and expect our body to be different than it was yesterday. We should realize that we are living only for ourselves and not to impress other people. Nobody’s perfect, right? So why do we still care? What we see in magazines or TV, that’s what we are made to feel like we are supposed to look like, but is not realistic at all. I don’t want artificial things anymore. I’m tired of looking at “objects” (nobody see you as a person anymore), it’s boring and uninteresting. I want complexity and character, I want someone to be defined as beautiful even if they don’t have what society estimates is beautiful.



  • Dahl, D., Sengupta, J. & Vohs, K. 2009, “Sex in Advertising: Gender Differences and the Role of Relationship Commitment”, Journal of Consumer Research, 36, no. 2, pp. 215-231.
  • Reichert, T. 2002, “Sex in advertising research: a review of content, effects, and functions of sexual information in consumer advertising”, Annual review of sex research,  13, pp. 241.