GOOD

New Study Shows That Sex Doesn’t Sell

It’s time for agencies to get some new ideas.

Via YouTube

We all remember the Swedish Bikini Team, Fabio shilling fake butter, and Spuds MacKenzie, the beer-drinking bull terrier no woman could resist. All of these characters were dreamed up by ad execs to create sexy images for their products because, as we all know, sex sells. But a recent study by The Ohio State University contradicts that oft-heard advertising cliché.


A recent a meta-analysis of 53 past experiments involving a total of 8,489 subjects published by the American Psychological Association found that sex and violence in ads doesn’t help sell products. “It never helps to have violence and sex in commercials,” according to Brad Bushman, professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University and co-author of the study. “It either hurts, or has no effect at all.”

The reason that sex and violence aren’t as effective as we thought is not that they fail to grab the public’s attention. In fact, it’s just the opposite. According to the study, images of sex and violence are so intense, they distract the viewer from the most important thing in the ad, the product. The study also found that products advertised during sexual or violent programming do not fare as well either. “Brands advertised in violent contexts will be remembered less often, evaluated less favorably, and less likely to be purchased than brands advertised in nonviolent media,” the study says. “We also suggest that advertising in sexual media may not be as detrimental as advertising in violent media, but does not appear to be a successful strategy either.”

Does this mean that in the future we’ll see fewer scantily clad women in beer ads? Most likely not. Ad agencies can stick their necks out and create new campaigns that don’t rely on sex to sell, but their clients, the big, risk-averse brands, will more than likely balk.

Articles
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
Culture

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading