Sex Sells – Part 2 – Super Bowl Ads

The January 28th edition of USA Today carried an article – – about Volkswagen’s Super Bowl commercial that will air on Sunday, February 3rd, during Super Bowl XLVII (47).

In the article is this report about Mercedes-Benz:  “While appearing in the Super Bowl is nothing new for Mercedes-Benz, there is a special twist to this year’s ad: It will try to attract a younger customer with a new lower-price-point Mercedes.

“With an average age of 50, we know we have to work to capture the minds of younger buyers,” says Stephen Cannon, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA.

Little wonder that Mercedes put hotter-than-hot supermodel Kate Upton Upton, Katein the spot. To assure plenty of eyeballs, she’s dressed in an extra low-cut evening dress that reaffirms Super Bowl ad wisdom: Sex still sells.

“The pressures follow the price tag,” says Cannon.  M-B’s effort, too, could exceed $10 million for the spot, the airtime, all the promotions behind it and the brand’s naming tie-in with the New Orleans stadium where the game will be played.  “It’s the biggest single marketing investment we’ve ever done.  We’d better deliver.”

The Super Bowl exemplifies the epitome of how well sexual attraction can boost the sale of a product in the United States (and around the globe, for that matter).  The football game attracts a predominantly male audience and, although there are millions of women who also watch, the game of football is about men being macho, tough, and masculine.  The high levels of testosterone make the Super Bowl an easy mark for using sex to sell during the commercial breaks.  Even the female viewers are likely to appreciate the messages, whether blatantly obvious or merely suggestive.

More than likely, your business is unable to afford the close to $4 million price tag for a 30-second commercial during Super Bowl XLVII, but there are still ways to employ the powerful “sex sells” method to attract customers.

Selling a woman on spa services can be as simple as letting her know she’s worth it.  Looking and feeling good makes her feel good about herself and that can be quite attractive to her partner.  That aspect of a spa treatment, however, is implied and need not even be mentioned in the marketing message.

Marketing is all about perception.  If you’re planning to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, pay close attention to the illusions the advertisers try to create in your mind.  Each company is investing millions in the hope you will have them and their product at the top of your mind when the game is over.

And when Monday rolls around and you’re ready to ramp up your marketing strategies and improve your bottom line, give Brand Irons a call.

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About Coach

Terry Misfeldt is President and Trail Boss of Brand Irons, a business and marketing consulting firm based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Terry has conducted numerous feasibility studies and prepared a number of business plans to secure financing for clients. Terry and Brand Irons specialize in creating corporate brand identities based on the results of studies and plans to market businesses successfully.