Audience Perception Of Sex Appeal As A Promotional Strategy Among Youths

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Audience Perception Of Sex Appeal As A Promotional Strategy Among Youths

Introduction

The increasing acceptance of sexual references and references to sexuality in mainstream advertising across countries was met with a phenomenally positive response from marketers. Some of the manifestations of sexuality include provocative behavior, interaction, nudity, and characteristics such as environment and context. The amount of sexual imagery, body language, and vocabulary, as well as the amount of nudity, contributed to the perceived sexiness. Advertisements with sexual appeal are more intriguing, entertaining, attention-grabbing, favorable, and original. Steadman (1969) discovered that sex appeal can act as a detractor, diverting the viewer’s attention away from the brand.

The negative effects of having sexual appeal can lead to lower brand recall and generate poorer product and manufacturer’s perceptions. In an effort to sell more products, advertisers place a strong emphasis on sexuality. Sex appeal acts as an initial attention lure to the advertisement, referred to as the stopping power of sex. When done properly, there is nothing inappropriate with the use of sexual marketing for the purpose of selling certain things. Researchers found that Chinese consumers hold similar perceptions towards sex appeal advertisements as US consumers and even more favorable perceptions than Australian consumers.

According to Frith and Mueller (2006), Asian countries appear to be more conservative than the US with respect to nudity in advertisements. Individuals display greater favorable responses and intention to purchase when exposed to such advertisements. A seductive or decorative figure was viewed as more favorable by respondents than a nude model. The use of a highly sexual theme in a print advertisement was not well accepted. This is because it was considered less ethically “right” than the milder version of the advertisement.

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