Let’s face it. Sex sells. It’s not even a question. If you look around you, you will see that some companies use sex or anything with sexual innuendos to sell their products, regardless if it is a TV ad or a billboard ad. Most often this results to higher sales. Why is it effective? Why does it sell?
Billboards are huge structures that you often see on the highway. Because it is such a busy area, if you decide to advertise your product, you want your ad to be memorable and captivating. This is where sex plays a role, especially when the female body and bust is involved. Scantily-clad women or men often gets noticed first and it is embedded in their memory. This would then get associated with the brand and people would have a recall of what it is and what it does. Eventually this will translate to sales and a profit for the company.
While this may be a great campaign and revenue for some, many of us do not realize that this is hurting us especially the women. It is because of these ads that women ended up being seen as a sex object and it can be downright degrading.
Although some may benefit from using sexual images in an ad, there are other people who may get turned off by it. Some may feel that the use of sexual innuendos are not really necessary if for example you are selling a sofa or a baseball bat. At one point people may even feel tricked especially if the product is short of the quality that is expected. Then it will be challenging for the advertisers and companies to bring back the trust that was broken.
Using sex as an advertising tool will probably not go away. Depending on the laws in each country, it might even be more flagrant each year. Who knows? But companies and advertisers should keep in mind that this should never be abused.