In the mood

May 13, 2021

Sex sells

How true is advertising's most repeated phrase? Is sex really the most effective way to sell products? If you expect answers, this is not the place to search for them. I did not do any research, but watched some old commercials and made my own conclusion.

From today's perspective, it is almost a bit amusing that the American burger chain Carls Jr dared to use exaggerated sexually designed advertising from 2004 to 2015 to sell burgers. Yes, they say sex sells, but when the product has so little eroticism and produces the opposite of a sexy body, you can at least wonder if this slogan is really true. I don't want to accuse anyone, I am only watching and thinking out loud. I would say, the slogan should be "Sex causes attention" rather than "Sex sells".

Socially, we are a bit further now. Fortunately, depicting women as objects in advertising is becoming less common in Germany. Sometimes things are overdone in my personal opinion, e.g. when London's mayor forbid an ad for swimwear a few years ago. There are many examples in Germany, too, where things habe been pushed too far.

In my own work, I think about objectification of women and how to avoid it, too. I believe it is important to show eroticism and a strong feminine personality without this being demanded by men. To achieve a self-determined and modern presentation. Because sexyness and equal rights can go together.

Nevertheless, I had to smile about these commercials. And I hope this is ok. The second one is truly absurd. And it makes me wonder if these commercials were just highly ironic. And if so, did the recipients understand this?

At least, I know for sure that the women shown in the advertisings look different from the women who purchase the actual product. This might disappoint some people.

Credits

Video: Carls Jr

 

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Simon Bolz, Frankfurt
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