Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sex Sells

I fancy myself a feminist. A liberal feminist, I guess, not a die hard feminist who thinks all porn is wrong or anything, but a woman who believes in equality. Equal pay, equal respect, etc.

I think the reason for my somewhat moderate stance is that I'm a libra. Ok, not really. But all horoscopes say that libras make good judges because we can see both sides of an arguement. Hence the scales being our symbol. Well, personally I think being able to see both sides might not make one the best judge - in fact, it makes me kind of indecisive most of the time. It also makes me read back in my blog and disagree with myself, but I digress. Perhaps it is being a libra that has always made me feel as if I have a dual nature, one that society has as well.

Here is one area where I am truely divided on my opinion. Sex in advertising. Part of me believes it is essentially wrong. Using tits to sell cell phones doesn't seem right, however, it totally works. And in many ways, I am a capitalist. This sales techniqe plain works - even on me. A beautiful woman will make me look twice every time. Fortunately for my morals, the area of marketing I work in doesn't use sex to sell - because I think I'd be one of those domineering female marketing executives that would look at a mock up for an ad for kitty litter and ask the designer, "Where the heck are the hot lady legs in the background? I told you HOT LADY LEGS!!!"

One arguement would be that living in a patriarchal society has molded me and skewed my reality so much that I am, in my own way, sexist towards women. Perhaps that is correct. I just can't accept this as reality - and if it is reality, then I just can't escape it.

The thing is, women are hot. And I like looking at them, in general. Men are ok too - but lets get down to it. The basic 'S' curve of a woman's form that I have so dilligently studied in life drawing classes is a lovely shape, one that any eye can enjoy. And so what is the harm in using this shape to sell consumer goods? What is wrong about putting a hot lady on a bicycle to get you to consider purchasing that particular brand? One might say it is exploiting the woman in order to obtain profit. It is using sex to sell. To me, using sex to sell is effective because it is universal in attraction. And I find it much less insulting than those darn women-only yogourt commercials. (Really, click that link, it's worth it.)

Being a liberal person has lead me to the following conclusion (and who knows, maybe I'll argue this one with myself in a few days); the solution to the overuse of womens bodies to sell products is simple. Use male bodies more! Perhaps they are not as effective from a visceral S-curve point of view, but I can't help but think there is a place in the market for more hot men. After all, gay men are a huge money spending demographic that is under-tapped. And, if the ad appeals to straight women and gay men, we're up to about, oh, 52% of the population. After all, there have been a few ads which have used the male form to sell, notably the diet coke commercials:

They were so memorable, therefore they must have been successful (in the intangable way that advertising is successful). So why is there not more of this?

I want more naked men in advertising, not less naked women.

1 comment:

Baba Jeff said...

I like.

It does sell, and I'm usually not affected by a scantily clad willowy nekkid grrl but I'll still look as well.

Those yoghurt commercials rank among the Aero bar ads and the Herbal Essence pornos. BLEAH.

Nice writing, Libra!