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  • Can sexy ads really arouse our interest in brands?
  • Can sexy ads really arouse our interest in brands?
    Álvaro Nistal, Creative Commons (2009) ©
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Does sex still sell?

Overflowing champagne bottles, foamy shower scenes, models in pillow fights. The sexy tactics used to flog products are well established. Yet with an increasingly feminist culture and studies showing that such imagery can impair our ability to remember what’s being advertised, does sex still sell?

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Overflowing champagne bottles, foamy shower scenes, underwear models in pillow fights. We’re all familiar with the sexy tactics deployed to turn us on to brands because it’s well-established that ‘sex sells’.

Yet a study published in 2015 found that sex takes up so much of our ‘limited attentional capacity’ that it impairs our ability to remember what’s being advertised. Not only does sex “not help” when it comes to selling stuff, it can have a detrimental effect on an advert’s overall effectiveness. [1][2]

Combine this with the outrage against Protein World’s ad campaign, an increasingly ...

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