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Parent categories: sex - advertising

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Sergio Rossi Shoe Advertisement

Sex in advertising

The end of the century saw the advent of mass advertising. Chromolithography as an artistic medium provided possibilities for mass communication that printers and artists were quick to take advantage of. Perhaps the most crucial development for advertising in the twentieth century was the realization that the successful advertisement sold an idea or lifestyle rather than a product -- and sex sold products better than anything else. Just as the promise of sex could fill the theatres of Paris, so sex could sell anything from cigarettes and cars to painting and poetry. The erotic content in Art Nouveau advertising ranged from the subtle to the explicit. Designers did not just aim to sell the promise of sexual fulfillment to a male audience, but also, and extremely significantly, they were selling the idea of a sophisticated, decorative and glamorous identity to women -- increasingly the dominant consumers. As it was women who often held the domestic purse strings, it was they who came to be associated with shopping. --http://www.fathom.com/feature/122091/ [Oct 2004]

  • Sex in advertising is the use of sexual interest as a tool of persuasion to draw interest to a particular product, for purpose of sale.

    Sex is considered one of the most powerful tools of marketing and particularly advertising. Post-advertising sales response studies have shown it can be very effective for attracting immediate interest, holding that interest, and, in the context of that interest, introducing a product that somehow correlates with that interest.

    The use of sex in advertising can be highly overt or extremely subtle: from relatively explicit displays of sexual acts, down to the use of basic cosmetics to enhance attractive features. The more subtle end of this spectrum has penetrated all types of media including news casts, documentaries, and even tele-evangelists. The use is not limited to visual media either: one of the criteria in selecting DJs and announcers is the "sexiness" of their voice.

    Use of sexual imagery in advertising has been criticised on different grounds. Conservatives, especially religious ones, consider it obscene. Many feminists feel it objectifies women (as women are more often portrayed in a sexual manner than men) Some claim it reinforces sexism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_in_advertising [Dec 2004]


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