Sex in Advertising

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A Great Moment In Creativity

In 2010 Diesel released their spring campaign tagged, “Sex Sells, Unfortunately We Sell Jeans.” This was a follow up on their “Be Stupid” campaign, which helped re-establish the brand amongst consumers. The brands image was able to portray a sexy idea while still having enough humour to be appreciated by a large audience. Although the idea of using sex appeal in advertising is not new, Diesel ran into trouble with this campaign as a large number of the public stated that it was demeaning and inappropriate. Yet others found them to be humorous, with the understanding that Diesel chose to use amateur photography and young models to appeal to the target audience of teenagers and young adults. Yet, many believe new technology such as the Internet, is allowing advertising with sexual content (eg, Diesels) to be seen by inappropriate age groups.

As many of us are aware, provocative advertising is not a new phenomenon. This form of advertising has been around for centuries. Dating back to the beginning of modern advertising in the 1800s and within Diesels campaigns since they were founded in 1978. Advertisers use sex because it has proven to be very effective in many cases it attracts attention because people, “are hardwired to notice sexually relevant information…” Thus advertisement’s that use sexual content get noticed. Moreover, when sex is used in advertising it associates itself with sex-related outcomes as a result of buying and using the brand, for example people may think that they will be more sexually attractive especially if they wear Diesels jeans. Furthermore, as technology has progressed this ideology hasn’t changed.

Over the decades technology has advanced dramatically to the point where advertising can be seen everywhere; from magazines and billboards to the pavement, sides of buses and the Internet. It was in 2010 that viral advertising really took over traditional modes. However, with advertisements now being...
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