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Ivan's picture

Does sex in advertising sells?

sexy advertisement
Sex sells claims the old and undeniably true adage. We are sexual beings. Advertisers use this attribute by trying to associate their products and services with sexy imagery hoping that some of the hotness gets attached to their brand in the consumer's subconscious mind.

However abusing your audience's attention is a dangerous thing. Showing skin to get attention and then trying to sell completely unrelated products like hearing aides, touch-typing courses or car-rental rental services (like you will see below) may backfire. The reader feels cheated and talked down to. Another thing to be cautious about is how much nudity is sufficient to grab eyeballs and what is too much thus considered offending. This is of course a cultural question. Usually the more religious your target market the less accepted it is to show bare body parts. For these reasons one needs to be careful where and how to use sex in advertising.

Yet there are many brands that are brave enough to take the risk and celebrate sex as any other source of joy in life in their ads. Decide what works and what not for you and presumably for the target within this pool of several dozen campaigns collected over the last few years. Check out first the print advertisements by category then see a few links to sexy microsites and tv ads. Also watch a compilation of these ads in this video on YouTube.

Food and drinks


Automobiles and car rentals

Technology and gadgets

Travel and tourism

Health & Beauty



Public interest

Various other campaigns


Visit the site: Perrier: Mansion Dice

Visit the site: Fortnight Lingerie: Super Sexy CPR

Visit the site: Lynx Dry: Girls Look Hot, Wet. Guy's Don't

TV Spots

Finally this is how you sell lingerie in Saudi Arabia. The campaign is mocking the censorship that exists in the Kingdom.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

henji4's picture
4 pencils

wow, there are some great ads.
For me I enjoy watching sexy ads.
If the ad is sexy and funny, that's even better.

| Geng Gao | Illustration, Design, Photography |

alanclarkdesign's picture
126 pencils

The sex side is what gets your attention, but there still needs to be a concept.

There are some superb ads in here, but I do find them more appealing due to the comedy and the concept rather than the sex.

pratikbagaria's picture
6 pencils

All I can say firstly that this is one good collection here.
As for the main point, it totally depends upon the product category and the target market. A perfect mix of the same can create wonder, but for short term!

JimD's picture
2626 pencils

Great collection, Ivan! Wish the U.S. wasn't so "prudish" so we could use sex in advertising here. As it stands, most of these would never be permitted to run anywhere here.

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ericmtownsend's picture
1 pencil

Regardless of what you may think of the ads above one direct correlation can be made between sex selling and 95% of the ads above. They spent a lot of money creating those ads, the ads have some great photography and great lighting as well. Seems like in order to sell using sex it has to be pushed to the fantasy level for the mind to register and for you to stop and look at them. They are not just showing some skin and hoping that sells the product, they are dumping some big bucks into lots of lighting and post work which proves that sex may sell but it certainly some with a big price tag for the person who sells it. Which means that cost is ultimately passed along to the end user.

steveballmer's picture
652 pencils

It certainly works on me!~
I am not Steve Ballmer pretending not to be me!

Mintsauce's picture
1000 pencils

Honestly, I consider using sex to sell a cop-out. If you can't come up with something great - use sex. Sexual beings? Yes, but we're more than that... Not to mention the social consequences of using sex as sell tool.

The Construct Agency
Building Creative Brands for People

frankda's picture
15 pencils

I will buy them all :P

Ivan's picture
Kilik's picture
80 pencils

Certain industries almost require sex in their advertising, like Wonderbra. When it's done in a tasteful way is when it's most effective.

3dogmama's picture
1990 pencils

Some chick or guy splayed over the hood of a car isn't going to incite me to buy...I would be more annoyed at the clasp on their cheesy G-string scratching the paint job.

As noted above, if the ad calls for a sexual feel then go for it. Otherwise, it's a design crutch.

"Art -- the one achievement of Man which has made the long trip up from all fours seem well advised." - James Thurber

Anthony Proulx's picture
50 pencils

Sex sells. Is it an easy sale? Yes. To have an extremely strong brand you can't just base it on sex, you have to mix it up and have fresh ideas.

zhade's picture
5 pencils

No. Sex DOES NOT SELL! People get your facts right. It may be cool to look at but does it grow sale numbers? No and that's a proven fact!


becks's picture
2 pencils

Hmmmm, thanks Ivan for the collection, great job. I agree and at the same time disagree. Sex sells, esp. with great boobs and a fine ass but in some ads they have pushed it far beyond the line.

In the end it becomes as though they are selling a new block buster porn movie

becks's picture
2 pencils

The second last ad, they say, 'Edit anything but the bra.'

Can some one tell me, are those jean pants part of the bra? Not forgetting the bracelets. ahahaahha


Art D. Rector's picture
3166 pencils

You just wanted to post all those naked chicks.

Ivan's picture

Ooops! ;)

Cookie Creative's picture
97 pencils

Fantastic collection.
Sex undoubtedly sells.

JonnyAd's picture
4 pencils


pmiranda's picture
1 pencil

Great collection, but some of them are horrible...the woman with a dog is a piece of shit!

Best wishes

asklbeba's picture
1 pencil

this is really harmful for both sides
for the exposer and the receiver
and after all i dont think sex sells !
you are using an idea & techniques any way Right !

monkey1979's picture
680 pencils

You've missed one of my favourites! Kylie on a bucking bronco, in her underwear, what more could a man ask for?

I thought it was a good concept for cinema audiences.

living on dreams and custard creams.

monkey1979's picture
680 pencils

oh man, that is good good! never seen that one before.

living on dreams and custard creams.

hookmeup's picture
1 pencil

Sex sure does sell, it took me half an hour to reach the bottom of this page. Really cool pics!

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