Warning! This post includes honest discussions of sex and porn. If these topics make you squeamish, stop reading now.
OK - for those of you brave enough to continue, here we go.
We've certainly seen how different genders react differently to advertising messages. What women want and are attracted to can be different from what men want and are attracted to. This is not true in every case, but depending on the subject matter, the differences can be striking.
Sex is one such subject matter. I've written before about studies on how men and women react differently to sex in advertising.
Now there is another study with similar results. Do fashion magazine ads that ooze with pictures of sexy seductive women work? Especially magazines ads aimed almost 100% at women?
A research team at the University of Florida in Gainesville studied this question. They conducted a study where 100 college aged women rated photos of attractive women. the participants rated their emotional reactions to the pictures.
The results were quite interesting.
Here's what the researchers found:
The more seductive the model, the more it left the women bored and uninterested, according to lead author Robyn Goodman.
The findings seem to contradict the sensual images that saturate the ads in glossy female magazines. "It seems they missed the mark here," said Jon Morris, one of the co-authors. He added that the results also illuminate a gap between the male executives who are marketing the magazines and the consumers.
Read the full article at MSNBC.
This also reminded me of the quote from the girl team at 3iying...
Although the maxim "sex sells" may have ruled for years, from a girl's perspective the erotica in marketing is excessive, dirty, uninformative, and most importantly, a huge turnoff.
I chimed in earlier about my own feelings about fashion ads in women's magazines. I pointed to an ad for Di Modolo with Tea Leoni- an ad in which she is seated casually and comfortably, wearing jeans and a white cotton top, with a normal slight smile, wearing some gorgeous jewelry. This ad really connected with me, and from the comments I've gotten online and offline, connected with many other women as well.
So why the disconnect? Why did such a simple non-sexual ad stand out? Why aren't women relating to these sexy fashion ads that are clearly aimed squarely at women? One of my guesses is......porn.
Now, I am not a consumer of porn. A lot of people are. I have no problem with that. To each his own. I'm not here to sit in judgment. My experience with porn has pretty much been limited to an accidental trip to the Playboy channel or free offerings in hotel rooms.
The experience always left me cold. Now, it could be that I am seeing the "bottom of the barrel" so to speak. There may be more high quality porn out there. But I just don't get it.
Why do women moan and groan and carry on and on, and yet the guy never makes a sound...not a squeak. Why is that? I can only surmise that guys get turned on by the noise of the woman.
But come on......my bullshit meter is buzzing away. These noises aren't authentic. her facial expressions aren't authentic. The situations aren't authentic. My brain goes - this is all a hoax, pay absolutely no attention.
I suspect the same thing may be happening in fashion ads. Look at the outfits, and more importantly...look at the poses. Why is she always arching her back like that? You may find it sexy. I just want to call a chiropractor.
Look at the facial expressions - same thing - they either look miserable, or like they're trying too hard to look cool. I mean, who really sticks their lips out like that in real life?
I still stand by my opinion that sex CAN sell to women, but only when it's presented in a more authentic, real manner and only when it portrays the aspects of sex and or romance that SHE finds stimulating.
My apologies to any readers I have offended with this frank discussion, but someone needs to talk about this stuff.