Sexual advertisements have always been controversial yet they continue to be made. "As advertising becomes more invasive, our opinions are increasingly shaped by it" (Moog, 1990, p. 219). This is because, though they are insulting and offensive, they promote the notion that purchasing the product will somehow provide sexual pleasure. The bigger problem is that companies often believe that it works to sell the product.
Chupa Chups’ Advertisement
The spring 2005 advertisement for Chupa Chups lollipops (shown in Appendix 1) displays a young, provocatively dressed female holding a lollipop in her right hand. Simultaneously, using her left hand, she is lifting the bottom of her dress in an attempt to showcase more of her already revealed legs. Her cleavage, exposing a large portion of her breasts, does not leave much to the imagination. As she pushes her tongue outside her mouth in the direction of the lollipop, her stunning blue eyes stare the reader down. The slogan, just as sexually oriented as the photo, says “We put the candy on a stick. You suck.”
The images shown are offensive and inappropriate. First and foremost, it suggests oral sex. This print advertisement was found in Maxim magazine, which targets young male adults. Though upon first notice, the advertisement may seem offensive to women only, men are also insulted.
Men are being stereotyped as perverts. The promotion suggests that men are willing to purchase anything as long as it implies that they will receive sexual pleasure by doing so.
The advertisement treats women as sexual objects. The model is portrayed as being “easy.” She appears to be desperate for pleasure as she gently wraps her fingers around the lollipop. The lollipop, the product that is being sold, is pushed to the corner of the advertisement, steering attention away from it. Her eyes, fixated on the viewer, insinuate that she is infatuated with the reader and is not thinking at all about the lollipop. The slogan itself is appalling. Though not explicitly stated, it is obvious that it is pushing the message of oral sex.
Purposes of the Study
The purposes of this study are to determine the viewers’ opinions of the advertisement and recommend a new, non-offensive promotional campaign. It is to further prove that, though they may catch the viewer’s attention, the use of sex in advertising does not convince customers to purchase the product. A recent study in Adweek magazine showed that the people who enjoy sexual advertisements are a minority (more men enjoyed them than women) and those who did enjoy them did not feel affected by them (Nudd, 2005, p.14). The majority of people studied also felt that sex was used too often to sell products.
Sources and Methods
Magazines and books were used to research the topic. A questionnaire survey (shown in Appendix 2) of young adults aged fifteen to twenty-five was administered to gather information about these individuals’ responses to the advertisement. Thirty people were sampled. Fifteen of those people were males and fifteen were females. The composition of the survey (shown in Figure 1) is comparable to the target of the advertisement.
RESULTS OF THE STUDY
The survey’s findings will be divided in to two separate categories: the advertisement’s offensiveness and the advertisement’s effectiveness.
The Advertisement’s Offensiveness
When asked whether or not the advertisement was offensive, 60% of the samples surveyed believe it was with the majority of those people being women. 40% of the men understood why others may find the ad offensive though they were not personally insulted by it while only 20% of the women agreed. Only 10%of the samples surveyed, all of them being male, thought the images were inoffensive. All of the females found them to be insulting. This information (shown in Figure 2) proves that the viewers felt the advertisement was offensive even if they did not feel...
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