This primary, pre-programmed disposition to respond to sexual imagery is so strong that it has been used for over 100 years in advertising and shows no signs of decreasing. Studies show that sex is used to promote sales across the board in a multitude of businesses, though high risk investments (I. . Amputees/software, or retirement plans) tend to use sex appeal the least in their advertising methods. Sex appeal and arousal cues can be found in nearly every modern day advertisement, and the use of those appeals has progressively increased over the years: 1 5 percent of ads studied used sex as a selling point in 1983. That percentage grew to 27 percent in 2003 (Mulled). These campaigns are not only aimed towards sexually explicit products, but they are also found in ads which have almost no sexual involvement.
As early as the sass’s, W. Duke and Sons, a manufacturer of facial soap, included trading cards in the soap’s packaging that displayed erotic images of the day’s most popular female stars. As soon as sex began to appear in advertising, bans were formed to restrict the explicit content from being seen by viewers. TIME Magazine, in 1965, became one of the first to address their new found censorship towards sexually explicit content appears in their medium.
In current days, Calvin Klein is known to be the most successful in terms of building a brand purely through sex and human attraction. You can also find an ad like Gucci, which featured a Oman with pubic hair cropped in the shape of a G standing above the man kneeling before her, extremely common among the content we view today. Not only do these ads entice the human arousal, they show substantial proof of effectiveness. Although these marketing strategies seem to work wonders, one may marvel if the reactions are favorable among consumers.
A majority of viewers praise the sexy and scandalous commercials, saying that sex is culturally and biologically relatable and a perfect selling point; Others take a more conservative approach claiming that objectivism is involved, and that the content promotes a bad image not only for its viewers, but also the actors/actress’ involved. As decades progress, society’s perception of beauty is constantly changing. During the sass’s thick women were known to be more sexually appealing than those who appeared rail thin; society current perception of beauty lines within high-fashion models, such as those on the run way.
Many viewers speculate that advertisements today are leading to unhealthy obsessions with impeccable looks and perfection among youthвЂ?most of which are unobtainable. The reason of this debate forms from different beliefs in how women and men should be portrayed in a public manner, and how easily these ads can leave a lasting effect on a viewer’s self-esteem. The research presented in this bibliography sex appeal in advertising, and also if sex and advertising has a positive, neutral, or negative effect on its viewers.
Section II. In modern society, not many legislators are taking action in the regulation of sexual advertising strategies. The issues surrounding sexual content in advertisements are more difficult to address, define, and handle because they reflect t large a variety of personally subjective, culturally related and historically changing values and attitudes. It is also very difficult to conjure the issue because consumer interpretation of visual symbols is dependent on the ideas and beliefs shared within a particular culture.
The most active group of those protesting sexualities ads in public consists mainly of religious dogmatists. In 2008, two catholic parishioners Matthew Restate and Bridget Spanks formed a petition to ban sexualities billboards and outdoor advertisements which demean women and expose children to indecent intent. After obtaining around 30,000 signatures, the petition was turned down like so many of its others in Victorian Parliament. The most influential audience towards censorship of these ads is composed of children and teenagers.
Many parents are opposed to their children’s exposure to sexual imagery, therefore making up for a large portion of the voice against sexual advertisement. But, because there is virtually no pornographic or offensive content, these ads will continue to be used to sell products to teens. Advertisers are currently protected under the interpretation of the Constitution’s free speech first amendment as commercial speech. However, the influence of consumer watchdog groups in this country has proven their effectiveness in the past, and is still an important factor in this today.
Complaints from such groups, such as Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children (SEC), led to Abhorrence’s controversial magical to require a minimum age requirement for all purchases. Also, as with Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, networks and media companies are particularly weary of inappropriate content at any age. Section Ill. Being an advertising/marketing major, as well as a consumer of many, many reduces, I grew interested in this subject when I began to analyze our media.
The way an advertisement can leave my mouth salivating amazes me. Not only do I find the ads fascinating, but I find the way they were created Just as appealing. Its only obvious that advertisers play off our four senses (taste, touch, sound, and sight) in order to gain our attention to their productвЂ?and I think the use of sex appeal is Just as useful of a tactic. Sex appeal is a universally shared feeling that affects each humanвЂ?no matter what their arousal may be; it is in our human nature.
I wanted to explore this topic because I strongly support the use of sex in branding, and it has often times persuaded me to buy products in which I really had no consideration of before. The research questions I’d like to explore are: how do people view this form of marketing? Why or why not it is effective? What are the pros and cons of this type of advertising? Do sexually related advertisements have an effect on gender roles? And how are both males and females represented in these advertisements?
Ford, Jennifer, “Fashion advertising, men’s magazines, and sex in advertising: A critical-interpretive study” (2008). Graduate School Theses and Dissertations advertising found mainly in hetero-sexual male magazines by means of visual rhetoric (how visual information is used in communication or persuasion). In her study, Ford gathered and examined five risquéГ© advertisements, all involving women, found in different men’s magazines. The five chosen, consisting of Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, David Yardman, Rockford, and Checkers, were considered the worst offenders from her initial study of 26 ads.
Ford believes that the messages interpreted in these advertisements reveal the current state of gender norms and sexual representation amongst society. She also explains that these selected images narrate the common portrayal of men as strong, independent and powerful beings, while women are portrayed as weak and subordinate to men. Though many other academia have focused on similar approaches, Ford adds informative critical work through her research of the visual rhetoric that comes hand in hand in men’s fashion magazinesвЂ?a theme many other academia have not yet centered their concentrations on.
Ford explains that the message the exemplar ads enforce through these images is one where man can easily obtain an “ideal” masculine lifestyle wrought the purchase of presented products. The way advertisers achieve this goal, Ford argues, is by depicting women in ways that make them appear promiscuous, submissive, dependent of male companionship, and knowledgeable. To Ford’s belief, gender stereotypes and roles have been evident in almost all of history. She notes, the stigma surrounding women dates back to pre-sass’s, and was very socially accepted at the time.
She refers to the Ladies Home Journal, one of the first and most successful magazines of its kind, printed in the early sass’s addressing women of the proper ways to act, dress, style, and groom themselves. Ford argues that although these images did provide freedom to the “New Woman”, they also portrayed images of what was considered to be socially acceptable as far as a woman’s appearance and social roles. She states that these images then lead to reveal the way culture began to idealize women, and that these idealizations become the standards by which women Judge themselves and others.
While analyzing the five chosen ads, Ford addresses four main themes she commonly categorized ads into: 1) lack of clothing or very little clothing; 2) the gaze of models; 3) body position; and 4) body language. Each of the ads studied included at least one of the previously mentioned categoriesвЂ?the final, an ad for Checkers, involved all four. She concludes almost as a rule of thumb that each ad included the depiction of women as powerless and subjective to males.
Ford also explained the use of a double entendre in the Rockford ad displaying “Boat shoes and bare skin are meant to go together,” which based off the naked state of both featured male and female models. Ford concludes that Rockford used this as a way of referencing the fact shoes and being naked with the opposite sex are correlated. To further sum Ford’s stance, she included many examples of the unethical strategies found in advertising todayвЂ?these strategies, she argues, depict women in a sense that leaves them appearing weak, helpless, and interchangeable. Hulling, Marcus and Erik Lunch. Sex in Advertising: How It Influences Young Men and Women. ” Thesis. EULA Teeniest University, 2004. Pull. Lute. SE. Web. 23 Mar. 2013. This study, Sex in Advertising by Marcus Hulling and Erik Lunch, used focus group data and interviews Hulling and Lunch asked separate groups of adolescent males and females about the impact of sex in advertising, and found that while both groups were affected by the content of the ads, the manner in which they were affected differed. Males seemed to consider nudity almost a ‘necessary evil’; something that wasn’t particularly comfortable, but was ubiquitous and therefore accepted in society.
They also seemed to have a majority consensus that sexualities advertisements often depicted people that were unattainably, or unrealistically attractive. Interestingly they also agreed that an ad did not have to include explicit sexual images to be sexual in nature or evoke sexual emotions. The male respondents also indicated that they noticed the trend in advertisements that depict both men and women with perfectly trained, sculpted bodies, a feature that only a very small subset of the population actually has.
Females seemed to put less emphasis on the physical aspects of the advertisement, and more on the atmosphere and theme being conveyed. The female respondents mentioned the increased use of sexual puns and other written devices that allude or include sex. They stated that the use of sexual themes in advertisement had become stagnant; since everyone uses it, all advertising becomes he same. Hulling and Lunch revealed interesting information about adolescent views on sex in ads, through pure observation, and displayed some key differences on how males and females interpret sexualities ads differently.
Shall, Suit. “Advertising, Gender and Sex: What’s Wrong with a Little Objectification? ” The Spectacle of Accumulation: Essays in Culture, Media, and Politics. New York: Lang, 2006. 163-75. Print. The question of whether sexual advertising casts a negative impact upon society is a growing issue in our society today. In Advertising, Gender and Sex: What’s Wrong with a Little Objectification? The author Suit Shall defends his beliefs against media creating negative influences upon viewers from sexual advertising strategies.
Shall purpose in writing the article is to define the considerable power advertising has over its audience; in his efforts, he outlines the focus on cultural persuasion of advertisements versus a one dimensional view of the technicalities behind them. He makes his point by arguing that society is constantly re-creating our view of gender, and that the portrayal of it in media needs to be accepted. Society cannot deny these portrayals because people fine themselves at their deepest level through the reality of advertising.
He contends that if men and women alike reach a common understanding of gender identity in some way, there would be less room for gender confusionвЂ?which affects a large part of society today, and is seriously detrimental to a person’s emotional and physical well-being. Shall argument is interesting in the fact he is defending exactly what most critics are arguing against. These norms are not only a part of society, but also of those who compose society, which have been consistently growing more predominate through time.
He defends Coffman, another academic on the subject, by saying that advertisers do not create these images from thin air, they simply draw on displays we use every day to make sense of social life and understanding of part in society. Shall points out the failure of many feminist critics by arguing their one sided focus on the incorrect portrayal of women deflects any chance to realize the only natural to be emotionally attracted to those who represent commonalities among those alike you, and that we must accept these images because they represent a history of radicalized gender relations.
Shall focuses largely on explaining that what viewers see in ads is neither false nor true, but that consist of images that are socially realistic. He notes that in as far as society defines sex as gender through culture (not through biology or nature), that we are not fundamentally separate from any past or present society. He clarifies that each culture has their own way of defining gender for their own reasons, and that each culture also has its own conventionalism form to accomplish colonization.
Another imperative point made by Shall is his view of American gender in society. She states that in our society, gender is Just one small aspect of importance (I. Politics, education, work, social class), but advertising makes the balance between these things very differentвЂ?indeed, everything else becomes defined through gender. He believes that in modem advertising, gender is indefinitely the most used form of social resource.
Instead of arguing that today’s advertisements enforce gender roles among men and women, he broadens the horizon by saying advertisements are part of the entire context within we attempt to understand and define our own gender relations; they are merely a part of the process by which we learn about gender and understand others around us, and that the gender roles they reinforce are positive. Corn, Daniel, “Ethical Judgments of Sexual Appeals in Advertising Image – Based Products to Teens” (2006).
Senior Honors Projects. Paper 5. Daniel Corn conducted his study on the ethics and effects of sexual appeals in advertising targeted towards teenagers by conducting both qualitative and quantitative research. Corn performed a content analysis by which he was mainly concerned in finding what percentage of ads included sexual imagery, what the demographic groups the ads targeted, and to explore the ethical boundaries/ implications of previously stated.
He concluded from his findings that women appear in more than half the ads while men account for less than a quarter; from this conclusion he notes that the high percentage of women appearing in ads directly correlates with the high amount of ethical complaints of women. In regards to ethical complaints, Corn adds that the use of attractive female models may cause some amount of ethical implications among teenagers. His reasoning formulates in the result of serious self-esteem issues formed through ideals that advertisers display in both male and female subjects.
In female subjects, he states that eating disorders ND distorted body image could become side effects; in male subjects, he finds that over excessive weight lifting could become a common side effect. Corn notes that although serious self-esteem issues may have been found as results in some subjects, the chances of advertisements alone turning someone to an eating disorder is much farfetched. When debating the ethics of related promises in advertising, Corn makes a very interesting note.
After finding more than three quarters of ads included an unstated promise of sexual gratification, Corn began to explain that though many believe the implied promises are viewed as unethical and encouraging awards the use of subliminal messaging, he feels that most are Just using a form of these advertisements may seem to be presenting lies, there is no outright proof that companies are promising anything to the consumer, which in return stands as a perfectly ethical scenario. Corn concludes by saying although some extreme ads can be viewed as unethical, he for the most part is accepting of the ads and the strategies behind them.
Served, Christina L. “Sex in Advertising. ” Thesis. University of South Florida, 2002. Print. This thesis study by Christina Served analyzes visual examples of sexualities advertising and deconstructs how elements of sex are used to promote different types of products, from cigarettes to luxury branded goods. Served presents the idea that advertising depicting sex use men and women both as sex objects, in the effort of drawing attention from viewers. Advertising depicts men as strong, physically perfect specimens, and women as thin, tapered, eternally young images of unattainable beauty, for both sexes.
By creating an image of literally hacking a woman’s body to pieces as a portrayal of how they represent the women, Served creates a harsh point to be made against the use of women in these ads. Her first initial argument made is the explicit and obvious belittling of women in society today by focusing on the tactics advertisers use to recreate the vision of how women should be viewed. She argues that advertisers who focus on the appearance of sexual parts of women’s bodies shows that they believe women are only used as a tool of objectification, or as a definite selling point.
Served points out that advertisement that depict women’s bodies without faces, heads, and feet implies that all that is really important about a woman is what lies between her neck and her knees. The kook of a silhouetted head symbolizes women without a brain and therefore a lack of intelligence or important thoughts; a faceless woman indefinitely symbolizes a loss of individuality; a woman without feet symbolizes the lack of mobility and therefore imposes the view of submissiveness.
In regards to the effects of advertisements on the human psyche, Served states that from a moral and ethical perspective, the portrayal of men and women as objects can cause emotional and self-esteem issues among consumers. To provide further understanding Served explores the reaction of a young girl viewing a tatty add which involves a photo edited version of a model. The girl, in her opinion, may think believe that in order to be viewed as beautiful, she herself must embody each aspect of the picturesque model featured in the advertisement.
Served believes that many viewers experience these ads and instantly are enticed to purchase the productвЂ?which subliminally states the product will transform you into the person you see representing it. Once the consumer comes to the realization that the product will indeed not change aspects of their appearance, Served states the nonuser will then come to find the unattainable results of the purchase. This instance, in her opinion, may very well initiate self-esteem issues that lead to anorexia and bulimia.
Served strongly argues that advertisers must acknowledge the profound impact of objectifying men and women in advertisements to avoid such common emotional reactions. Served focuses almost exclusively on sexuality in printed advertisements, and provides a widely shared viewpoint of the troubling rise in sexuality in ads over the last 200 years. However, she does not touch on the and anonymous means of gathering information, and being influenced.