Sex and Advertising or Do reflexes always have the upper hand?

It is not surprising to anyone that in order to prosper the company needs to use eye-catching advertisements that touch the inner strings of potential customers' souls. It is a wide spread notion that ads that evoke strong emotions help to increase sales. Sex and sensuality are among the most powerful tools that help advertisers to achieve their goals.

It is not surprising to anyone that in order to prosper the company needs to use eye-catching advertisements that touch the inner strings of potential customers' souls.  It is a wide spread notion that ads that evoke strong emotions help to increase sales.  Sex and sensuality are among the most powerful tools that help advertisers to achieve their goals.

How does it work?  Actually, it is the matter of a conditioned reflex. Sexual instinct is one of the strongest biological incentives.  Many men and women unconsciously get their eyes glued to charming girls and muscular men on billboards and posters.  Young beautiful figures bring back pleasant memories or create a sensation of discovering something great and unknown.

Having seen the ads based on sexual attraction concepts on numerous occasions in shops, buses and in the street people simply forget about those expressive bodies that grab their attention at first. It is believed, however, that when they go to supermarkets and come across the advertised item in the array of many other of the kind, the positive emotions they experienced previously arise again, people pay less attention to other products and choose these advertised items which seems to be so dear and pleasant for them, very often not being able to explain what their preference is based on.

There is one more trick to make the product popular. This method seems to derive from Freud's theory, and it mostly concerns men.  The core of this approach is that an advertised item gets some phallic sense, and the symbolic object on the billboard acquires a human sexual function. The motivation is: buy these cigarettes and that posh young lady from the poster will be yours. So, men buy not cigarettes but the opportunity to conquer the woman. On the subconscious level the purchase and smoking as such turn into a symbolic coitus. Foul, but still widely used ploy of present-day advertising.

Exposing sex to the public eye some advertisers are ready to bend over backwards to carry the consumers' attention to the verge of psychological shock, thus ensuring that the ad figures and, consequently, the trade mark are fixedly stuck in their memory. Another approach is aimed at designing the amusing and intriguing ads that will not make point-blank statements but will give some thought-provoking hints allowing people to get the message independently.

The question is whether this advertising strategy is effective. It goes without saying that sexual aspects are really helpful in drawing people's attention to the ad. Nevertheless, the practical effectiveness of all these tricks is far behind their theoretical perfection. According to the latest research, consumers tend to buy products the ads of which are devoid of voluptuous lips and sensual postures, although their first looks are at the posters with implicit (or apparent) sexual content.

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