Sex Sells (Nudity In Advertising And Its Effect On Men vs. Women)

Does sex really sell?
Those in the advertising community would of course answer “Yes!”
Advertising companies have been using sexual interest to draw attention to their products for many years. Of course,  in the beginning this was frowned upon greatly and some ads were on the borderline of inappropriate and being pornographic.  However, the general view towards sexuality has changed greatly over the years and people have become more open minded.

Nudity or sexual interest in advertising is so common these days that there isn’t as much reaction. In my opinion such ads include women shaving, a couple embracing each other, barely there clothing, flirting and fun loving sassy attitude. Even with radio ads even though there isn’t visualization there is suggestive music. A lot of men and even women will say that because sex in advertising is so common they will most likely not change their buying behavior even if their attitude towards the brand changes. Most men and women will not react tensely to seeing a nude man or woman, only if they are homophobic.  You will see ads on television, magazines, newspapers, outdoor billboards, movie theaters, the internet and radio. Whatever the method of advertising there have been 5 different types of sexual content identified: Nudity, Sexual Behavior, Physical Attractiveness, Sexual Referents and Sexual Embeds (sexual representation designed to be perceived subconsciously). For example, a common perfume ad on a billboard will include a half naked beautiful woman standing provocatively perceived as wearing the perfume or the bottle itself will be printed in the ad as well. To me that type of ad covers 4 of the 5 different types of sexual content listed above and will have different affects on men and women.

Men may have feelings of arousal and even lust whereas women may compare themselves to the model and rate their own attractiveness much lower afterward.  Men usually react positively toward casual/recreational sex and women toward emotional intimacy and commitment.  From studies conducted,  it was felt that women are portrayed as sexual objects more so then men.  Many ads,  no matter the product type have women modeling more often than men. For example, most regular shampoo ads have women showering or modeling when shampoo is used by both men and women.

We all know the models in ads are touched up (sometimes beyond recognition) but women still tend to judge themselves after seeing a sexy ad of a woman. Men often, don’t seem to feel the same when seeing a man in an underwear ad.
It’s like they say “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus”.
I do feel as though we see more female models in advertising and because of this, women can feel like they are sexual objects or exploited.
Even though I do not feel insecure seeing ads with women half naked I believe a lot of women do have that insecurity while most men do not go that far with thoughts after seeing a male model in a Calvin Klein underwear ad.

I think men prefer a female model over a male model and women prefer a male model over a female.  Men may prefer the female model to be nude rather than clothed and women may prefer the female model to be clothed. Women feel they can identify with a clothed model and put themselves in her shoes rather than if she were half naked with a sassy attitude.  In this D&G ad with Naomi Campbell for instance,  Men may think, “I want her”, while women may think, “I wish I had her skin tone or her breasts”. There is no doubt that nudity in advertising affects men and women differently, however, if a woman already purchased D&G perfume and liked the scent and then saw that ad and was disgusted she most likely wouldn’t change her buying behavior just her attitude towards the brand.  If a man saw that same ad and thought the model was extremely attractive he wouldn’t go out the next week and buy D&G for men.
Nudity in advertising grabs attention whether positive or negative and as we have seen over the years it seems to work for advertising companies.

– Jade

4 thoughts on “Sex Sells (Nudity In Advertising And Its Effect On Men vs. Women)

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