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The Effectiveness Of Sex Appeal In Advertising Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 1211 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The aim of this study is to be able to determine the extent the effectiveness of sex appeal in advertising and how it may be affected by factors like religion, culture and traditions. This study involved the participation of representatives of different genders, nationalities, religions and culture. All the participants were made to visually analyze a series of advertisements for men’s perfumes. The brand used for this purpose was Tom Ford. The perfumes are known for their unique sense of advertising and the products are well known as luxury items.

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Among the participants, there were male and female representatives of orthodox, Christians, Hindus, Muslims and atheists belonging to different nationalities as well, currently residing in UK. The research questions posed to them were regarding their personal preferences and perception towards advertising in general and their thoughts on using sex appeal in advertisements. They have been formulated to measure the degree of acceptance and rejection of the use of sex appeal and provocative images in promoting luxury products. The data has been analysed on the basis of the impact cultural and religious beliefs have on consumers of such luxury products. The data has been presented in a very neutral manner and verbatim has been used from the participants in the table (Appendix 1) as a measure of the intensity of feelings in certain cases. Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 have been used for coding and the methodology has been discussed in subsequent sections of this thesis.

Research Questions:

Personal Information

Do you have an emotional connection with your place of birth?

Would you say you feel a strong affiliation with your domestic society and its traditions?

Would you say you have adapted towards the British culture or still feel strongly about your own culture?

Perception of Advertisement

Would you agree that you are easily influenced by advertisements you see or not?

What forms of advertisement do you enjoy the most?

Do you think the ways in which you perceive the advertisement affects your attitude of the promoted product?

Do you agree with assumption that religion, culture and traditions affect the ways in which you perceive advertisement?

Do you agree with assumption that due to personal beliefs some forms of advertisement may create negative perception of a promoted product? If so, if the advert is perceived in a negative way, would you still consume the promoted product or not?

Sex appeal in Advertisement

Are you aware of the use of sex appeal in advertising?

What is your overall perception of sex appeal in advertising?

What would you say prevails?

Would you say that sex appeal in advertising would make you want to purchase the product?

Do you think your culture, standards, religion affect the ways in which you perceive sex appeal in advertisement?

Do you think sex appeal in advertising is an effective approach?

What do you think are the most effective advertising approaches?

Do you see sex appeal in advertisement being considerate towards people who come from different background?

Would you agree or disagree that sex appeal in advertising could be offensive?

Tom Ford advertisement

How does this advertisement make you feel?

Would you say it causes positive or negative attitude?

Immediately after exposure to this image do analyze this image in accordance with your personal beliefs and standards?

Would you say these images make you want to purchase these products?

Could you please think of advantages and disadvantages of this advertisement?

Who do you think is likely to respond positively to this advertisement and why?

Who do you think is likely to reject this form of advertisement as it may be deemed as inappropriate?

Do you think there is another form of advertising that would be suitable for these products?

Which ad did you like the most and which ad did you like least?


Interviews were carried out for the purpose of collecting data about Tom Ford advertisements from a heterogeneous sample group of people belonging to different religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The same set of questions was presented to ten participants of the sample group after they were subjected to the visuals in the Tom Ford advertisements for male perfume. The responses were tabulated and analysed according to their attitudes towards use of sex appeal in advertisements; their attitude towards the Tom Ford visuals and their attitudes towards the products these advertisements promote.

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From the given data set it can be concluded that people irrespective of their gender and age group are influenced by their personal, religious, traditional and cultural beliefs. Their attitudes towards products depend largely on the way they were brought up and the exposure they had towards sexuality in a social context. Tom Ford advertisements for male perfume have been appreciated for the novelty and boldness of the images though most of the participants felt negatively about the use of women as sex objects and would probably not endorse the products.

Participants from more conservative cultures were averse to the use of female nudity and the inappropriate use of the woman’s body to endorse a luxury product like a perfume. Many participants have suggested that luxurious settings and expensive and designer clothing and jewellery on elegant women would have been a better way of advertising the products. Some feel that provocative nature of the images reduces the brand value of the product and makes it appear cheap and “trashy”.

Most participants agree that the sex appeal in advertisements meets the purpose of advertising as they attract attention. The images, colours and layout of the advertisements enhance the visual appeal of the products. Most young people are active receivers of advertisements and will probably respond positively to this approach. However, the study also reveals that traditions, cultural and moral values play an important role in the way consumers respond to the visual stimuli prompted by these advertisements. People with strong cultural and religious roots tended to be judgemental about the products based on their perception of the advertisements. Most people observing the advertisements through their cultural lens were put off by the use of women as sex objects and felt that such extreme use of sex appeal in advertising products degraded and dehumanized women.

The results of the interview of the “atheists” reveal that they do not analyse the advertisements based on personal or traditional beliefs as they look at the visuals as merely advertisements promoting luxury products. Both participants are from approximately the same region and have been brought up in an environment open to expressing sexuality plainly. Their responses were rational and not judgemental and they were both willing to try the products as they found the Tom Ford advertisements attractive.


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