Does sex sell to women?

Marketing to Women Online has posted a pretty interesting article questioning: do women respond to images of sexy women?   If not (as studies suggest), why are magazines targeted 100% to female audiences dripping with such images?   While this is not a TV/film example, it does pose a question that’s at the heart of this site’s purpose: are marketers really giving the audiences what they want, or… what?   In some cases, I think they’re trying to condition us to want stuff that’s cheap and easy for them to provide.   That makes complete sense as a marketing strategy.

But as M2WO points out, the arched backs and orgasmic expressions of models in fashion magazine ads have no more authenticity than the moans and squeals and facial expressions of female actors in the average porn films.   These unreaslistic representations of sexuality may appeal to men, but not women.

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.

As the original study article at MSNBC  states:

“Based on this research, it is evident that many advertisers may have been misled in using more sexual models to attract women to their products,” Goodman explained.

But misled by who, or what?   To what purpose?   And if marketers have been totally backwards in how they’ve been marketing to women for all these years, no wonder stats indicate that we’re a hard sell.   We’re not: it’s just the male centricity of our culture getting in the way of marketers seeing what women want, and how simply and cheaply they can deliver marketing that will coax out our wallets.   For years, financial experts have been warning that marketers are unwise to ignore the female consumer, but in the same breath reminding them that we don’t respond well to ads.   Or, more precisely, the current ads you’re giving us.

Comments

  1. sbg says

    To be honest, I find poses in advertisements, be it female or male models, rather embarrassing and usually funny. I can’t disconnect the image of the poor model being made to writhe around and make silly faces that are supposed to be exotic or erotic or goodness knows what from the final image itself. If I’ve seen the model elsewhere, looking normal, I just can’t help but find it all ridiculous.

    And exaggerated sexy poses certainly don’t make me run out to buy whatever product they’re supposed to sell.

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