Sex in Advertising
I chose sex in advertising for my research topic because I do not know about it well, even though a lot of sexual images and texts in advertisements. When I was a little kid, I often surprised by ads with sexy woman. Even now, I sometimes have my eyes glued to such kinds of advertising. I wonder that there are some physiological reasons why people pay attention to sex images. Also, learning about sex in advertising is useful for my career because I want to work for an advertising company in the future. I infer that sex sells has both good and bad aspects and I can use it effectively by learning it accurately. If I use it effectively, we can make much money. However, we also take a risk by using sex in ads because some extreme images may give a bad reputation on products and company. Also, I care about the danger of sex in advertising, too. If I were a parent, I do not want my children to see some ads because they are too excessive for children. By researching this topic, I hope I can learn what is harmful for young people. I think sex sells have both good and bad effects on commercial and ethical aspects. Now, I have three questions about sex in advertising. First, I want to know when and how it has been used. I think there should be many famous advertisements with sexual images. Next, I would like to learn about how effective it is. I infer that there are both positive and negative effects in the advertising. Lastly, I want to know how boys and girls react to the advertisement. Some ads focus on to get male customers and others target on female. I also want to know how reaction relates to purchasing. Some people may not change their purchasing behavior even though they notice the ads and are shocked by it.
First, I infer that the early period of sex in advertisement is for men. This is because I think men had more purchasing power than women do before 1850s. I think that the beginning of sex in advertisement should be images of adorable women as much as today’s. According to O’Barr, the earliest advertising with sexual image is to sell tobacco and companies put the trade cards of sexy women’s image in each package of tobacco in the latter decades of 1800 (p.3). However, there should be the beginning of sex sells for female consumers. In 1915, the Woodbury’s Facial Soap inserts the ad with an image that a gentleman holds a woman in the Ladie’s Home Journal and it said “A Skin You Love to Touch” (O’Barr, p.3). According to O’Barr, Woodbury’s Facial Soap still kept using the sexual images in 1930s, and this time, they use the naked women’s image in their ad but there was no pubic hair and vagina (p.3). This was the first time to use naked models to sell products. I also think that women are more likely to tend to be used as sexual images. In fact, it was found that 75% of sex sells were women’s sexual images by Lin (Reichert and Lambiase, p.127).
Second, I want to know how effective it is. I...