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The Erotic Content of Media and Marketing, 1st Edition

The television ad was censored but the print campaign proved highly successful. The Italian clothing company Benetton gained worldwide attention in the late 20th century for its saucy advertising, inspired by its art director Oliviero Toscani. He started with multicultural themes, tied together under the campaign "United Colors of Benetton" then became increasingly provocative with interracial groupings, and unusual sexual images, such as a nun kissing a priest.

Calvin Klein of Calvin Klein Jeans has been at the forefront of this movement to use sex in advertising, having said, "Jeans are about sex. The abundance of bare flesh is the last gasp of advertisers trying to give redundant products a new identity. Several of Calvin Klein's advertisements featured images of teenage models, some "who were reportedly as young as 15" in overly sexual and provocative poses.

In , Calvin Klein was the subject of more controversy when it aired advertisements of young children who were only wearing the brand's underwear. This "kiddie underwear ad campaign" was pulled only one day after it aired as a result of public outlash. Gender Advertisements , [10] a book by Canadian social anthropologist, Erving Goffman is series of studies of visual communication and how gender representation in advertising.

The book is a visual essay about sex roles in advertising and the differences, as well as the symbolism implied in the depictions of men and women in advertising. When couples are used in an advertisement, the sex-roles played by each also sends out messages. The interaction of the couple may send out a message of relative dominance and power, and may stereotype the roles of one or both partners. Usually the message is very subtle, and sometimes advertisements attract interest by changing stereotypical roles.

Weighted down with taboos and volatile attitudes, sex is a Code Red advertising technique In contemporary mainstream consumer advertising e. Ads feature provocative images of well-defined women and men in revealing outfits and postures selling clothing, alcohol, beauty products, and fragrances. Advertisers such as Calvin Klein, Victoria's Secret , and Pepsi use these images to cultivate a ubiquitous sex-tinged media presence. Also, sexual information is used to promote mainstream products not traditionally associated with sex.

For example, Dallas Opera 's recent reversal of its declining ticket sales has been attributed to the marketing of the more lascivious parts of its performances. As many consumers and professionals think, sex is used to grab a viewer's attention but this is a short-term success. Whether using sex in advertising is effective depends on the product.

Nonetheless, there are some studies that contradict the theory that sex is an effective tool for improving finances and gathering attention. A study from found that there was a negative correlation between nudity and sexuality in movies, and box office performance and critical acclaim. It is hypothesized by that survey, that this is a result of a general numbing caused by over use of sexual stimuli [15] in advertising. In another experimental study conducted on undergraduate college students, Brad Bushman examined brand recall for neutral, sexual or violent commercials embedded in neutral, sexual or violent TV programs.

He found that brand recall was higher for participants who saw neutral TV programs and neutral commercials versus those who saw sexual or violent commercials embedded in sexual or violent TV programs. Some sexually oriented advertisements provoke a backlash against the product, as in the, Calvin Klein advertising campaign see section on Calvin Klein, above that showed teenage models in provocative poses wearing Calvin Klein underwear and jeans. The ads were withdrawn when parents and child welfare groups threatened to protest and Hudson stores did not want their stores associated with the ads.

It was reported that the US Justice Department was investigating the ad campaign for possible violations of federal child pornography and exploitation laws. The Justice Department subsequently decided not to prosecute Calvin Klein for these alleged violations. Using sex may attract one market demographic while repelling another. The overt use of sexuality to promote breast cancer awareness , through fundraising campaigns like "I Love Boobies" and "Save the Ta-tas", is effective at reaching young women, [ citation needed ] who are at low risk of developing breast cancer, but angers and offends some breast cancer survivors and older women, who are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.

Recent research indicates that the use of sexual images of women in ads negatively affects women's interest.


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Unless sex is related to the product such as beauty, health or hygiene products there is not clear effect. However the introduction of attraction and especially sexuality into an ad often distracts from the original message and can cause an adverse effect of the consumer wanting to take action. In the 21st century, the use of increasingly explicit sexual imagery in consumer-oriented print advertising has become almost commonplace. Ads for jeans, perfumes and many other products have featured provocative images that were designed to elicit sexual responses from as large a cross section of the population as possible, to shock by their ambivalence, or to appeal to repressed sexual desires, which are thought to carry a stronger emotional load.

Increased tolerance, more tempered censorship, emancipatory developments and increasing buying power of previously neglected appreciative target groups in rich markets mainly in the West have led to a marked increase in the share of attractive flesh 'on display'. Ad Age , a magazine delivering news, analysis, and data on marketing and media, published a list of Top most effective advertising of the century, out of the , only 8 involved use of sex.

Sex in Advertising: Perspectives on the Erotic Appeal

Unruly Media's viral video tracker lists the Top most viewed car commercial viral videos. Only 1 uses sex, while the No. In international perspective, a comparison of nudity in television advertising in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, South Korea, Thailand, and the United States reveals that China and the United States have the most demure ads, while Germany and Thailand exposed more of the female body.

There is little variation in male undress. Use of sexual imagery in advertising has been criticized on various grounds. Religious Conservatives often consider it obscene or immodest. Some feminists and masculists [ citation needed ] claim it reinforces sexism by objectifying the individual. Increasingly, this argument has been complicated by growing use of androgynous and homoerotic themes in marketing.

Advertisers trying to reach low-income and less educated men frequently use hypermasculine stereotypes, such as depicting men as only being capable of a limited range of behaviors, such as being physically violent or sexually aggressive. Since the late s, many researchers have determined that advertisements depict women as having less social power than men, but the ways in which females are displayed as less powerful than men have evolved over time.

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core. Continuous ad tracking and the Communicus System are competing examples of post-testing advertising research types. Meanings between consumers and marketers depict signs and symbols that are encoded in everyday objects. Advertising has many hidden signs and meanings within brand names , logos , package designs, print advertisements, and television advertisements.

Tom Reichert

Semiotics aims to study and interpret the message being conveyed in for example advertisements. Logos and advertisements can be interpreted at two levels — known as the surface level and the underlying level. The surface level uses signs creatively to create an image or personality for a product. The underlying level is made up of hidden meanings. The combination of images, words, colors , and slogans must be interpreted by the audience or consumer.

The signifier is the object and the signified is the mental concept. The signifier is the color, brand name, logo design, and technology. The signified has two meanings known as denotative and connotative. The denotative meaning is the meaning of the product. A television's denotative meaning might be that it is high definition. The connotative meaning is the product's deep and hidden meaning. A connotative meaning of a television would be that it is top-of-the-line.

Apple's commercials [ when? They placed the silhouette in front of a blue screen so that the picture behind the silhouette could be constantly changing. However, the one thing that stays the same in these ads is that there is music in the background and the silhouette is listening to that music on a white iPod through white headphones. Through advertising, the white color on a set of earphones now signifies that the music device is an iPod. The white color signifies almost all of Apple's products. The semiotics of gender plays a key influence on the way in which signs are interpreted.

When considering gender roles in advertising , individuals are influenced by three categories. Certain characteristics of stimuli may enhance or decrease the elaboration of the message if the product is perceived as feminine or masculine. Second, the characteristics of individuals can affect attention and elaboration of the message traditional or non-traditional gender role orientation. Lastly, situational factors may be important to influence the elaboration of the message. There are two types of marketing communication claims-objective and subjective. For instance, a camera may have auto-focus features.

Subjective claims convey emotional, subjective, impressions of intangible aspects of a product or service. They are non-physical features of a product or service that cannot be directly perceived, as they have no physical reality. For instance the brochure has a beautiful design. Voiceovers are commonly used in advertising. According to a study by David Statt, females process information comprehensively, while males process information through heuristic devices such as procedures, methods or strategies for solving problems , which could have an effect on how they interpret advertising.

Later research by a Danish team [] found that advertising attempts to persuade men to improve their appearance or performance, whereas its approach to women aims at transformation toward an impossible ideal of female presentation. In Paul Suggett's article "The Objectification of Women in Advertising" [] he discusses the negative impact that these women in advertisements, who are too perfect to be real, have on women, as well as men, in real life. Advertising's manipulation of women's aspiration to these ideal types as portrayed in film, in erotic art, in advertising, on stage, within music videos, and through other media exposures requires at least a conditioned rejection of female reality, and thereby takes on a highly ideological cast.

Studies show that these expectations of women and young girls negatively impact their views about their bodies and appearances. These advertisements are directed towards men. Not everyone agrees: one critic viewed this monologic, gender-specific interpretation of advertising as excessively skewed and politicized. More recent research by Martin reveals that males and females differ in how they react to advertising depending on their mood at the time of exposure to the ads, and on the affective tone of the advertising. When feeling sad, males prefer happy ads to boost their mood.

In contrast, females prefer happy ads when they are feeling happy. The television programs in which ads are embedded influence a viewer's mood state. Little girls grow up watching advertisements of scantily clad women advertising things from trucks to burgers, and Wojcicki states that this shows girls that they are either arm candy or eye candy. Other approaches to revenue include donations , paid subscriptions and microtransactions. Websites and applications are "ad-free" when not using ads at all for revenue.

For example, the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia provides free access to its content by receiving funding from charitable donations. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses. Home FAQ Contact. Advertising Wikipedia open wikipedia design.

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For advertising in Wikipedia articles, see Wikipedia:Spam. For proposal on advertising about Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Advertising. Form of communication for marketing, typically paid for. For the English punk band, see The Adverts. For other uses, see AD disambiguation and Advertiser disambiguation. Key concepts. Promotional content. Promotional media. Behavioral targeting Brand ambassador Broadcasting Display advertising Drip marketing In-game advertising Mobile advertising Native advertising New media Online advertising Out-of-home advertising Point of sale Printing Product demonstration Promotional merchandise Publication Visual merchandising Web banner Word-of-mouth.

Main article: History of advertising. Main article: Online advertising. Play media. Main article: Crowdsourcing. Main article: Global marketing. See also: Soft power and International tourism advertising. Main article: Criticism of advertising. See also: Racial stereotyping in advertising. See also: Advertising management. See also: AIDA marketing. Main article: Marketing mix. Main article: Advertising research.

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