Sex doesn’t sell.
According to new research, using sex appeal to promote a brand or product does not help drive sales.. People might remember the particular advertisement, the study of studies found, but they’re far less likely to remember the subject of it.
“We found literally zero effect on participants’ intention to buy products in ads with a sexual appeal,” lead author John Wirtz said in a press release. “This assumption that sex sells—well, no, according to our study, it doesn’t. There’s no indication that there’s a positive effect.”
Study participants were no more likely to remember brands that advertised with sex appeal than without. In fact, they were more likely to have a negative attitude towards those brands.
Researchers from University of Illinois, Ball State University, and the University of California, Davis evaluated 80 advertising studies from the last 30 years to find the surprising result. Perhaps unsurprisingly, findings strongly showed that, on average, men liked the ads whereas women did not.
The study might explain why Carl’s Jr. is no longer running ads with models in bikinis (like the one below), according to USA Today.
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