When you go to Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), we are bombarded with huge billboards in hope to catch the attention of passengers, which include pictures of people in lingerie or underwear. A few months ago, there was a controversy surrounding the Philippine Volcanoes, a Philippine rugby team, for posing too provocatively for an underwear company in EDSA. It was deemed “inappropriate” by the mayor of Mandaluyong, Benhur Abalos and Valenzuela mayor, Sherwin Gatchalian (Naredo & Pedrasa, 2011). Many were offended by how many innocent children can perceive those titillating images. These scantily clad models that are in the billboards are made to sell and appeal for our sexuality to our human instincts.
Sexuality is both an attribute and constitutive (Cenzon, 2008). According to Thomas Hobbes (n.d.), “Man is a collection of base, animal urges. To act on them and experience sinful pleasures would be morally no different from taking a breath.” In a word, since “sexual desire is an instinctive reaction in animals” (Taflinger, 1996) and we are a collection of animal urges. There is something natural and innate, similar to animals, for human beings to have a certain sex appeal for others.
Sex in advertising or “sex sells” are advertisements that show either the female and male body in order to attract buyers. Ever since advertising was established as a moneymaking business, sex has been utilized with it since it was proven that it could improve interests and sales. Sexuality is considered to be one of the most reliable tools of advertising. However, some companies can overuse our natural sexuality. Thus, more and more sexual images are not connected with the object being advertised. Which leaves some humans cheated in a way since advertisers are taking advantage about our natural animal instincts. Sadly, these industries did not create our view about sex in society. It is simply within our human nature. (Harrison)
Does sex sell is a question that has been debated for years, ever since it was proven by many companies that was close to bankruptcy. Companies that experienced the advantages of putting explicit images for some sexual innuendo of both men and females include Jovan Musk Oil, Herbal Essence, Axe, Calvin Klein, Victoria's Secret, and Pepsi to name a few.
In 1971, Jovan Musk Oil added sexual attraction when promoting their product. Jovane Inc. revenue grew from $1.5 million dollars to $77 million. (Sloan & Millman, 1979) Herbal Essences Moisturizing Body Wash sales also increased from zero to $700 Million in seven years. (Greene, 2009.) As time goes by, the use of sex in advertising increased.
However, some companies and people disagree with using sexual images through their advertisements since they use sex as a last resort. If they cannot come up with a great idea, they use sexual images since it is easier to appeal with our instincts. These advertisements give us the impression by buying the product, we can experience or have the...