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Background of the Sex Appeal in Product Promotion

Discuss about the Sexual Appeal Approach in Product Promotion.

The sexual appeal approach in product promotion is referred to the eroticized imagery of women to provoke the ego of men and entice them for purchasing the products. This particular business approach is so pervasive that it uses women model to expose some curvature of their posteriors to attract more customer for their business. The sexual appeal approach has been trend for product promotion activities across the world for a long time. This particular marketing strategy has been implemented in the sport promotion of International market. In this context, this article aims to discuss the background of sexual appeal approach in product promotion. It also indicates the ethical consideration of implementing the sexual appeal approach. In addition, it also identifies the implementation practice concerning the sex appeal approach in India. Furthermore, it reveals the implications of sexual appeal approach in product promotion in India.

The sexual appeal approach has been used in the product promotion since the last quarter of 18th century. The major tools for using the sexual appeal approach have been illustration of attractive women as well as woodcuts. Generally, it has been identified that tobacco, tonics as well as saloons brands implemented this marketing strategy in a significant fashion. It was claimed by various companies that the sexual appeal has a tremendous influence on increasing the sales as well as consumer interest (Wee, Choong & Tambyah, 1995). For instance, the earliest use of sex appeal was conducted by the Pearl Tobacco brand in the year of 1871. It offered sexually provoking trading cards inside the W. Duke & Sons cigarette packet, which transformed the company in to leading brand within two decades.

There has been lots of other implementation of sex appeal approach conducted by sex and soap, condom, garments companies. The major examples are promotion of Woodbury’s Facial Soap, KamaSutra condom, Benetton garments and Calvin Klein jeans Company (Adhikari, 2016). After this long journey of two centuries the sexual appeal approach is still proved as most significant marketing strategy for communicating with the market place.

It is commonly considered that the marketing is highly dependent on unethical practice. The complexity of this particular discussion gets a notch higher when the sex appeal approach is mixed with the teen segment. In the current world of literacy the advertisements are not judged based on philosophical statement but the associated complaint or feedback (Putrevu, & Swimberghek, 2013). Therefore, the advertisers must develop their product promotion according to the ethical judgment of the society. In the Indian market it has been noticed that women are still represented as the dormant character in the advertisement.

Ethical Consideration of Using Sex Appeal in Product Promotion

The advertisers must keep in mind that the sexual superiority indication is offense to the women right. As media plays a significant role in the society’s perception development they cannot use women as mare sex object in their product promotion (Peloza, White & Shang, 2013). In addition to that, the advertisers must not use women for just creating a sexual allure to the product promotion. Furthermore, the advertise practitioner has no control over the watching audiences. Therefore, they should not include sexual innuendo in the teen segment as it will provide a wrong indication in this cognitive development stage.

The study on the sexual appeal implementation practice in India reveals that the women have been noticed to be used in household, bathroom and kitchen product promotion as a main character (Shimp & Andrews, 2012). However, the on-camera representatives of the product as well as voice-overs are male. On the one hand, the male are observe to represent the authoritative as well as independent roles whereas the female were presented as dormant character in the advertisement. Moreover, it has been observed that females are observed to obtain approval from family members whereas the male are noted to gain approval from their friends. It clearly indicates an attempt to establish the gender superiority in Indian society that often misguided the consumers as they consider it natural order of the society (Percy & Rosenbaum-Elliott, 2016). It has been also observed that majority of the advertisement tend to portray the female character as a sex object or a means of stroking the ego of the consumers. In most of time the advertisement uses women for recreational purpose rather than decorative purpose. However, the contemporary argument has forced the companies to use the women in more authoritative role, albeit it is limited to the female used products promotions.

The advertising industry highly emphasize on the proverb ‘sex sell’ that establishes the importance as well as dependence of product promotion on the sexual appeal approach. The extensive study on the consumer behavior has explicitly indicated that majority of the consumers get aroused from the product promotion that has used sexual appeal approach. It is observed that this arousal creates a high recognition of the sexual content associated with the product promotion and thereby the brand (Bharti & Kumar, 2016). This recognition ultimately generates the sales of the product.

However, it is argued by (Shanthi & Thiyagarajan, 2012) that despite the high sales the consumer focus on remembering the brand itself not for its feature but its sexual advertisement. It apparently deludes the importance of the product while maintaining the image of sexual innuendo. The current study on the consumer reaction reveals that the young women compare them with the models of the advertisement. The idealized images of will definitely lower their self-satisfaction and raise the standard of their physical attractiveness. In addition to that, it is observed that the young men and women immensely perceive the advertisement scenario as the proper order society context. Therefore, the use of dormant role will hinder the position of women in the society.

Sex Appeal Implementation Practice in Product Promotion in India

The regulation regarding the sexual appeal approach as the product promotion is highly vague and confusing in India. On the one hand the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986 restricts the advertisers to use women in any advertising scene for creating vulgar and obscene role (Eko, 2016). On the other hand, it also offers the scope for the creative advertisers to use women as an icon of dormant sex object in the product promotion.

The advertisement in India is mainly monitored by Board of Censors before realizing. Censor only focus on the use of sexual scenes in advertisement in terms of their relevance with the advertisement theme at a whole (Trehan & Singh, 2013). This particular condition presents a great opportunity for the sensitive as well as serious minded aesthetic advertisement creator to construct a turnaround way to use women for the same purpose. The Censor in India fails to perceive that media just have to indicate their message as opposed to directly exposing the women to nudity and vulgar role. In t has been observed that advertisers more often overlook the contemporary societal norms as well as changing value system at the time of following sex appeal approach of product promotion (Nettelhorst & Brannon, 2012).

It is highly important to apprise the audiences in the case of putting sexual innuendo in the advertisement. The moral intricacy of sexual appeal approach must be recognized by the advertising practitioners as well as media. In this situation, the advertisers need to integrate this facet of fact at the time of developing this commercial promotion. In this context (Wolf, 2013) argued that the ethical consideration is flowing concept and it can transform with the passing of time. Therefore, it is evident that the appropriateness as well as acceptance of the sexual appeal approach in the society must also transform along with the perspective of the society members or audiences.

Considering the above facts it can be assumed that the most ethically sound practice would be first review the perception of the base audience. It will evidently help the advertisers to understand the proper guideline at the time of developing advertisement. Moreover, it has been also considered that in the contemporary world the men and women are free to make their choice independently, fairly as well as equally. Therefore, the advertisement practitioners must not indicate any sexual dominance or superiority in their commercial promotion.

Sex Appeal Implication in Product Promotion in India

Conclusion:

It can be observed from the above-discussed article that product promotion is significant part of developing the perception of the consumers. It not only creates the preference of the customer with respect to products but also the societal order. The female are often used in the advertisement as a dormant character as well as sex object to create sexual energy among the customer. This sexual energy develops significant product recognition among the consumers. As the censor mostly focuses on the obscene footage on the product promotion, the advertisers tend to create sexual innuendo for the same purpose. It hinders the societal position of the women and creates negative impact on the young customers. The advertisers should follow a more ethical approach by using women in more authoritative role and shunning the sexual appeal approach from the marketing practices. 

Reference List:

Adhikari, H. (2016). Media Using Women’s Body as a tool of Consumersim: A Study on Women in Event Management in India. Journal of Gender and Power, 79.

Bharti, G., & Kumar, K. (2016). Portrayal of Women in Indian Cinema and Print Media: Socio-Psychological Perspective. IJAR, 2(6), 545-552.

Eko, L. (2016). Regulation of Sex-Themed Visual Imagery in India. In The Regulation of Sex-Themed Visual Imagery (pp. 77-86). Palgrave Macmillan US.

Nettelhorst, S. C., & Brannon, L. A. (2012). The effect of advertisement choice, sex, and need for cognition on attention. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(4), 1315-1320.

Peloza, J., White, K., & Shang, J. (2013). Good and guilt-free: The role of self-accountability in influencing preferences for products with ethical attributes. Journal of Marketing, 77(1), 104-119.

Percy, L., & Rosenbaum-Elliott, R. (2016). Strategic advertising management. Oxford University Press.

Putrevu, S., & Swimberghek, K. (2013). The influence of religiosity on consumer ethical judgments and responses toward sexual appeals. Journal of business ethics, 115(2), 351-365.

Shanthi, P., & Thiyagarajan, S. (2012). Impact of viewer’s perception on effectiveness of couple image sex appeal advertisements. Studies, 4(1).

Shimp, T. A., & Andrews, J. C. (2012). Advertising promotion and other aspects of integrated marketing communications. Cengage Learning.

Trehan, K., & Singh, G. K. (2013). Deceptive practices in Indian advertising: a content analysis of print and television advertisements violating the guidelines of advertising Standard Council of India. International Journal of Business Ethics in Developing Economies, 2(1), 30.

Wee, C. H., Choong, M. L., & Tambyah, S. K. (1995). Sex role portrayal in television advertising: A comparative study of Singapore and Malaysia. International Marketing Review, 12(1), 49-64.

Wolf, N. (2013). The beauty myth: How images of beauty are used against women. Random House.

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