Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Magazine trends study finds increase in advertisements using sex

06.06.2012
Sex sells, or at least that is what advertisers hope. A recent study from the University of Georgia looked at sexual ads appearing in magazines over 30 years and found that the numbers are up.
"Advertisers use sex because it can be very effective," said researcher Tom Reichert, professor and head of the department of advertising and public relations in the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. "Sex sells because it attracts attention. People are hard wired to notice sexually relevant information so ads with sexual content get noticed."

People also succumb to the ‘buy this, get this' imagery used in ads, he said.

"Some young men actually think Axe body spray will drive women crazy," he said. "But, brand impressions are shaped by images in advertising, too. Arguable, Calvin Klein and Victoria's Secret are not much different than Hanes or Vassarette, but perception studies show those brands are perceived as ‘sexy,' and some customers want that."

Looking at 3,232 full-page ads published in 1983, 1993 and 2003 in popular magazines Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Esquire, Playboy, Newsweek and Time, researchers found sexual imagery in 20 percent of the ads. Using sex to sell everything from alcohol to banking services has increased over the years: 15 percent of ads used sex to sell in 1983; that percentage grew to 27 percent in 2003.

Ads were categorized based on the models' clothing, or lack thereof, and physical contact between models.

"Our findings show that the increase in visual sexual imagery over the three decades of analysis is attributable to products already featuring sexual content in ads, not necessarily widespread adoption by other product categories," Reichert said. "Specifically, alcohol, entertainment and beauty ads are responsible for much of the increase."

The study showed sex is primarily used to sell low-risk products purchased on impulse.

"Sex is not as effective when selling high-risk, informational products such as banking services, appliances and utility trucks," he said.

Much of the growth was seen in alcohol, entertainment and beauty advertising. Out of 18 product categories, those most often using sexual imagery in advertising were health and hygiene at 38 percent; beauty, 36 percent; drugs and medicine, 29 percent, clothing, 27 percent; travel, 23 percent; and entertainment, 21 percent.

"In almost every study I've seen, sexual content gives a purchase advantage in such instances," Reichert said.

Products not using sex in their ads were charitable organizations and computer companies.

Women are used to sell products most often when pitching sex. In ads sampled from 2003, 92 percent of beauty ads that contained models were female. Just under half the ads did not contain models.

With the exception of entertainment advertising, females overwhelming occupy the pages of sex-selling advertisements. Of the 38 percent of provocative health and hygiene advertisements that feature models, 31 percent feature females and 7 percent feature males.

"Perhaps more important, this analysis shows that the proportion for alcohol ads in 2003 increased to about one sexual ad for every three ads (37 percent)," Reichert said. "Using sex to sell products such as alcohol and tobacco is a moral issue."

Reichert said this upward trend in erotic ads is a reflection of society.

"It takes more explicitness to grab our attention and arouse us than before," he said. "In the early 1900s, exposed arms and ankles of female models generated the same level of arousal as partially nude models do today. We can see during our lifetimes the changes in sexually explicit content on television, movies, books and other forms of media beyond just advertising."

Tom Reichert | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uga.edu

Further reports about: Sex brand impressions mass communication models' clothing sexual ads

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>