Sex in Advertisement



Sex is one of the strongest and most effective way to sell an advertisement. The relationship between sex and marketing has been a combination that has drawn the appeal of many people. It is a winning formula for almost any business trying to sell a project to the public. The part that is risky is about using sex in ads is if you don’t know how to use it properly it can turn off potential customers. Sex has been a selling point ever since the 1800’s, the earilest form if sex in advertising was Pearl Tobacco featuring a naked women on their pack cover. The first to use sex in ads were saloons, tonics, and the tobacco companies. In 1885 W. Duke and Sons featured sexually provocative trading cards of women on their cigarette cartons. In the 1970s Clairol a hair product used the slogan “Does she or doesn’t she ? Only her hairdresser knows for sure.” Clairol used this slogan to to allow women to understand the bond between them and their hairdresser. What gets talked about between them is a way for women to be comfortable and have someone to talk too about their personal life.

pearl tobaccoduke and sons
When sex is the topic in marking we cannot forget to add that Calvin Klein is famous for their advertisement of jeans. This ad featured 16 year old Brooke Shields and the slogan was “Want to know what gets between me and my Calvin’s? Nothing.” The slogan drove sales as the women and men both had to something to relate too. men had a sexy to image to look at while women had the confidence that if they bought the jeans then they can also be like Brooke Shields. Using sex in advertisement is so powerful because when people are exposed to a sexual message their brain gets activated. Sexual messages are hard to ignore because it draws us in and we want to be like the people on the ads. We are easily appealed to reacted to sex because it is easy on the eye. Pictures of fully naked models are not even necessary, just showing a neck or leg can easily draw us in.

brooke shields
Sexual messages can work just as well as seeing the physical ads. The consumer can be drawn in by a simple word or phrase. The trick is to use a word or phrase that is powerful enough to let the consumer know where the ad is coming from. Using a direct message is a great tool that advertisement companies use to draw the consumer in. The consumer is so draw into sexual ads that it is easy to get there attention. The thing is that using a sexual phrase that is too strong can sometimes turn off the consumer so the advertisement companies have to be careful in what they choose. A great example is the car company Volkswagen , they used their car the beetle to draw in the consumer. They showed an image of the car with the top down, and blurred out image. The slogan said “Topless” now this means two things that the car has the ability to go with the top down and also that if you drive the car you can get topless women. This creative idea spiked sales for their car, by simply using a phrase it drew in the consumer and make the car a must have.

Clothing companies are notorious for using sex in ads. Sometimes their messages are too strong for the consumer and turn them off. By using sexual images are too strong it can offend the consumer mostly women. Dolce & Gabbana used an ad in 2007 of a scene where four men stood over a women lying down on the floor. It was offensive to women because it looked as if the women on the floor was getting raped by the four guys. They had to shut down that campaign because it was deemed too offensive. This is great example of how companies can go too far in branding their sexual ads. Another company that took it too far was Diesel, they used different scenes from porn movies but put on twist on them. They used animations and turned the scenes into everyday events. They also showed their name in the ad to remind people that it was their company. This offensive video turned some people off from buying Diesels product.


On the other hand some companies do a fantastic job of implementing sex into their advertisements. Victoria’s secret is the leading company for women’s lingerie. They are infamous for use sexually appealing models for their brand. They do it best which is why every teenage to adult love to shop at their stores. But as well as Victoria’s secret does in drawing women in to buy their brand they also receive criticism. Their campaign PINK is a target of younger women mostly teens and moms are taking this to offense. The campaign implements teens behaving promiscuisly which is something mothers and fathers do not want for their daughters. Even the most week known companies like Victoria’s secret receive backlash from their sexual advertisements. Companies have to be careful in the image they create because it can draw away the consumer.


When using women in advertisement companies have to be careful to not subject them. Women are not objects and should not be treated as one. Many alcohol companies use promiscious  women in their advertisements. Men see these images and want to buy their project because they think maybe they can get the women like the one on the ad. This strategy has taken the industry by storm but how does this look in the eye of the women? Many women are taking offense to this poor form of advertisement because they believe that is not how women are supposed to be ported. It gives a false image to men and women alike.


Advertisement companies have to be careful in the way they use sex to sell the project of the company. By using offensive ads it can draw the attention away from the ad and deem it repulsive and objectifying. Using sex in advertisement is a great way to draw the attention of the consumer, the issue is how you use it. By abusing sex we have to note that companies will receive backlash by the public. When the ad is deemed too offensive companies have to be careful to not draw away the consumer but figure out how to get then to want the product even more.


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