What is your position on how sex is used in advertising? Is it too much? Not enough? Is sex an inevitable and necessary part of advertising? Should there be limits?
This paper calls for you to develop your own position on the issue and use one internet source and one from a library database.
When people post videos on YouTube, one major point of interest for content creators and aggregators is to capture as much attention as possible. Your video is adrift in a sea of information and you’re trying to get as many eyes or clicks on your work as possible.
In that realm, first impressions are all-important: you want your video to have an attention-grabbing thumbnail image, as that will likely be the only thing viewers see before they actually click (or don’t) on it. So how do people go about capturing attention in that realm? One popular method is to ensure their thumbnail has a very emotive expression on it; a face of shock, embarrassment, stress, or any similar emotion. That’s certainly one way of attracting attention: trying to convince people there is something worth looking at, not unlike articles titled along the lines of five shocking tips for a better sex life (and number 3 will blow your mind!).
Speaking of sex, that’s another popular method of grabbing attention: it’s fairly common for video thumbnails to feature people or body parts in various stages of undress. Not much will pull eyes towards a video like the promise of sex (and if you’re feeling an urge to click on that link, you’ll have experienced exactly what I’m talking about).
If sex happens to be attention-grabbing, the natural question arises concerning what you might do with that attention once you have it. Much of the time, that answer will involve selling some good or service. In other words, sex is used as a form of advertising to try and sell things. “If you enjoyed that picture of a woman wearing a thong, you’ll surely love our reasonably-priced laptops!” Something along those lines, anyway.
Provided that’s your goal, lots of questions naturally start to crop up: How effective is sex at these goals? Does it capture attention well? Does it help people notice and remember your product or brand? Are those who viewed your sexy advert more likely to buy the product you’re selling? How do other factors, like the gender of the person viewing the ad, contribute to your success in these realms?
These are some of the questions examined in a recent meta-analysis by Wirtz, Sparks, and Zimbres (2017). The researchers searched the literature and found about 80 studies, representing about 18,000 participants. They sought to find out what effects featuring sexually provocative material had, on average (defined in terms of style of dress, sexual behavior, innuendo, or sexual embeds, which is where hidden messages or images are placed within the ad, like the word “sex” added somewhere to the picture, which is something people apparently think is a good idea sometimes). These ads had to have been compared with a comparable, non-sexual ad for the same product to be included in the analysis to determine which was more effective.