Monthly Archives: October 2012

Sex Sells – Part One

Yes, it’s true!  Sexual attraction can sell your products or services.

Think about it for a few minutes (a few seconds for men) and you realize the attraction factor is more than male-female and female-male.  What do I mean?

I have often thought that department store ads for underwear were unfair to women.  The ads depict female models wearing the products in full color, which one might think were designed to appeal to the male audience.  You rarely see male models sporting the masculine products; it’s usually a picture of the product in its package.  That probably makes it easier for the guys to find it in the store.

The female models, I have learned, are what attract other women to the product.  The ads are not oriented toward men!  Women want to see what the product looks like, and the kind of body they would like to or do have.  So, in the case of women’s under garment advertising, the “sex” factor is female-female.

Companies that market sporting goods or sports-related products also find success with the “sex sells” approach.  Humor works well, too, such as some of the beer commercials where horses work out to improve their position or play football for example.  Yet beer marketing companies also use male bonding approaches to selling their products since research has shown that men are the most likely high quantity buyers of their products.

We have become so familiar with the “sex sells” approach of print, TV, radio, and even Internet advertising that we rarely give it a second thought.  For it to be effective for your business, therefore, it must be different, tasteful, and outstanding to get your product or service noticed.

How do you do that?

First, know your customers.  Understand who makes the buying decision when it comes to purchasing your products or services.

Second, know your products or services.  What are your customers or prospective customers buying?  Are they buying wicker baskets, or are they purchasing decorative storage containers?

Third, decide if a sexy advertising approach is appropriate for your business, products, and services.  There may be a more effective way to get the results you desire.

Fourth, if sexual attraction will move your merchandise, find creative and tasteful ways to advertise your goods and services.  You may find that a subliminal, nuanced message has far greater impact on results than a raunchy, over-the-top and objectionable reference to bedroom behavior.

Allow me to share a couple of examples:

1) Think about the operation of a bar, tavern, or restaurant that serves alcohol.  Think about the patrons.  They could easily purchase alcohol and drink it at home.  Why do they come to the drinking establishment?  They come to be with friends, to enjoy the atmosphere, have fun, and to be entertained. 

Ignoring the age of the patrons, they are more likely to drink more product if the bartender or server is younger, more attractive, and more out-going.  Yes, even flirty!  A female bartender with a great personality and an attractive figure will build a loyal, repeat male customer base more than a grumpy older woman.  The same holds true for a muscular, handsome male bartender in building a repeat loyalty among female patrons.

2) Think about trade shows and exhibits for a minute.  As you walk the floors of a convention center to check out the various products and services offered by vendors in your industry, what draws you into the exhibit?  One, obviously, is that you are interested in learning more about the product or service being displayed.  How do you react if there’s a “pushy” sales rep approaching you to “step in” or “take this brochure” as you get close?  You either get sucked in or side-step to the other side of the aisle to avoid them.

Now think about the booth where there’s an attractive male or female staffing the display.  They’re smiling at you (and everyone) and being a bit flirtatious as you approach.  The display is also attractive, but the way the staffer is dressed and groomed reels you in.  If they answer your serious questions professionally and appeal to your attraction to them, you are more likely to also be attracted to their products and services.

The point is to take the time to think things through when it involves using a sexual approach to marketing your business.