Condom ads and sex

One could not be blamed if he thought that the most preeminent use of sex in the ad industry would be found in condom ads, however he would be wrong. Condom companies have very smart ads that allow them to sell their products. We all know that great commercial from durex, the condom company that portrays two balloon bunnies having sex right? No one has ever found that offensive or even distasteful, no we watched it and we laughed, it was truly amusing and cute.

Other ad agencies should learn something from condom companies, because they really know how to employ smart sex selling techniques. They tend to bring this private and intimate act down to earth and to make turn it into something normal, they don’t over use it so it does not become something too vulgar, they leave it in a place where it does not come too strong on consumers.

Comparing prices

Let’s take for example this poster

It’s pretty self explanatory, it compares the prices between a children’s toy and a pack of condoms, however it has a deeper, more educative meaning. We all know that nowadays teenagers start their sex life earlier than we would like them to, ads like these that portray the risks and realities that stand behind a sex act will more than often open their eyes in relation to what can happen if they do not use contraceptives.

Contraceptives and SDD prevention

How about this one?

I think that this one is my favorite. durex really knows how to build a real advertising campaign around their products, not only is this a very fine example of using sex in a very non-offensive, non-objectifying way, they also portray some of the diseases that can be contracted by those that do not use a contraceptive product when they have sexual intercourse.

It is a lesson for all those that want to start their sex life, something that will always be of great importance to the newbies out there. Condom companies know how essential it is to educate the young public about the risks that having sex presents. But also, they do not try do demonize this act, they want to portray it in a viewer friendly way, no, better said in a realistic way.

We, as parents should not be scared of these kinds of ads or about talking with our kids about them. We should be glad if our 18 year old has a pack of durex in his bag, it’s a sign that either us, or the ad campaigns have educated them right!

Ad agencies and the sexualisation of women

We all know that ad companies just love using sex as a marketing stunt. It sells, and that is a well known truth, even if we like it or not, it is an undying presence in our lives. It does not really matter if the product has a direct or even indirect connection to this act, ads will always show something naughty to appeal to our basic instincts. However, there is a new revolution right now in the marketing industry.

Anti-sexualisation campaigns ensued by ad companies that have started to condemn the over use of sex and also the objectification of women in advertising. This is mainly due to the newly born feminist movement that has pretty strong views about how women are used to sell products. The advertising agency that has started this battle is Badger & Winters, New York based, they fight against this phenomenon by producing their own video that feature sexual ads created for different products and that reveal the absurd extents that brands have gone to and still do to sexualize their ads.

Blowjobs and sandwiches

In this video one woman appears holding an ad of a woman opening her mouth in a sexual manner next to a hot dog and says “I love giving blowjobs to sandwiches”. Unfortunately this proves how dastardly ad campaigns and ad agencies have become. The objectification of both women and men to sell products is something that should just not be done. Indeed, sex sells, but as I formerly written, the smart use of sex can sell even more than just pure vulgarity.

We often tend to forget that humans have feelings and we  tend to abuse them too much. The ways in which ad companies use aggressive adds can increase their revenue, however it will always backfire in the face of the brand itself. Nowadays NGO’s have started their own campaigns against the over sexualisation of ads and they know how to use their marketing strategies to turn a brand in the image of objectification.

Humans should be treated more than just consumers, especially because of how well our minds work. Of course we will succumb to our basic instincts, but once you remove that initial haze and start realizing what is happening around us we will fight bight against those that cheated us with a simple poster that shows a pair of breasts and a mug of beer.

Sex sells, but the smart use of sex in advertising sells even better.

A brief history of sex and advertising

You would be amazed to find out that the beautiful ballet between sex and advertising has began further away in time than you would think. One of the earliest proofs that these two partners have been at it for longer than we could ever imagine are depictions of old soap, cigarettes and even valve caps of the late 1880’s where we can find a lot of sexual imagery and nudity.

One fun example can be found on the wrapper created by the soap company Ivory that depicted a band of naked sailors having a bath. What do soap and sex have in common? Nothing, except the fact that they both are strong sellers.

The sexual revolution in advertising really started to grow around the 1960’s when the world was starting to embrace the hippie movement. A time where the freedom of speech was something that was sought after by many people, a time when the world seem a bit happier and more easy going. During this time ads were beginning to get more and more sexual and nudity was a thing of the ordinary that was beginning to appear more and more often over billboards in TV ads and even on shows. The great ad companies were beginning to realize just how much money can be found in using nudity to sell their products.

Sex, Marketing and Advertising

Not every product can be linked to nudity and eroticism. It can become a short term sales stunt, but in the long run people will start to notice the trick and they will harm your brand. Nowadays, that the internet and social media work in the ways that they do, people can destroy your marketing campaign easier than you could think so don’t be too aggressive with your ads. If you really want to sell your product using a sexualized message try to use a safe, soft message, something artistic that will not seem vulgar or downright offensive. Long gone are the days when marketing companies could put out posters such as the one below out on billboards.

There is a saying in the marketing world that all advertising is good advertising, but as modern times have proven, not having a gram of common sense when you are deploying a marketing campaign can break your business. Even though people are becoming more and more used to seeing nudity all around them, offensive nudity is a weapon that will be used against your company if you don’t take great care of how you advertise.



Having the sex talk

As I mentioned before on a former blogpost, kids nowadays discover the true story about birds and bees faster than we can even think of. Even if they are using that child safe tablet that you got them for Christmas that you think is nudity proof, ads can find their way into it’s OS, they are clever, but they are not clever enough to differentiate between who is using that tablet and your child will become a collateral victim in the marketing war.

Sex and nudity will become two notions that they will know about at some degree even from early ages so that is why, we parents have to put on our big man trousers and to muster the courage to chat with them a bit about what is going on. I know it can be a bit difficult to try and convince yourself that this is for the best, but trust me, it is better for them to hear the real story from you than from Yahoo answers, or from children in their classroom that have discovered how to pass through parental restriction that their folks have set up on the TV or on the computer.

What our children know about sex

Ok, so you now have found the strength inside yourself to chat up with your little darling about where kids really come from, congratulations dear reader, you are braver than most of the other parents, but now you don’t know where to start do you? Don’t just go on and about talking about metaphors with birds and bees or that silly story about the storks, you have to find out what they know first. Remember that this will be one of those rare cases when your kid will have more power over the discussion than you, even if we are talking about a 6 year old or a fully developed teen, you will always be more ashamed about this topic than them so come on, prepare yourself and make a plan. First of all you have to find out what they know so far, where they are with the story.

You will be amazed to see that kids nowadays know more than we ever did when we were of their age, but don’t get frightened or timid. I have to warn you that once they get over their initial fear, kids will always talk more and more and they will ask you a lot of questions so be prepared to be showered with a lot of topics. Have your wits about you and your answers at the ready; be in charge, but not in a menacing way.

You have to keep a polite and friendly tone and always try to maintain a calm attitude, don’t scare them because the way that this talk goes will influence further more important ones so just keep that in mind. And also remember that young kids are what specialists call “magical thinkers” so be prepared to explain the things that they already know in a very simple manner because what they do not understand they will find answers to for themselves and you do not want them to start talking about what crazy things you told them in front of their teachers, right? Talking  to your kids is much easier than you think, but remember to forever keep a calm and tone no matter what and just try to be a friend first of all.


Sex and education

The use of these two words in the same sentence is getting more and more frequent, however, the relationship between these two topics is greatly misunderstood. As sex was viewed as a very taboo subject in the past, due to social norms, it has kept this characteristic even now in modern times. Of course then, it was normal for people to avoid talking about sexual intercourse, those who indulged in such activities were often viewed as scoundrels, but let’s just talk about what is happening right now in our society.

Since the invention of the internet, nudity, vulgarity and sex have become more and more accessible to people. You cannot scour the internet in search of taboo content to censor, it would take you a lifetime just to find the peak of the iceberg, it is a well know truth that most of the videos and pictures viewed on the internet have a sexual connotation and that children start searching for them from young ages. It is an unavoidable phenomenon even though most parents try their best to place restrictions on their children’s computer those little rascals find more and more inventive ways of getting pass them. It is an unavoidable thing, the exposure of kids to content of sexual nature, even if you exclude the internet out of the equation, advertising companies know that sex sells so the television, movies and even music will be peppered with such kind of content.

Sexual education

Exposure to sex can cause a great number of effects to young minds. It was proven that children that are exposed to such content from early ages are starting their sex lives earlier than others. It is a phenomenon that cannot be stop, a trend that is becoming more and more popular as time goes by. We cannot fight against it, we can only work with it. This is where education comes into play, but not as it did until now.

Teachers and parents used education to fight against overexposure to sexual images and content, but used as a weapon, education can only do more harm. The only way we can stop children from having sex at young ages is with communication, teachers and parents should simply talk with them, sit down and have a chat about what is happening in their lives and witness their development from a friend’s point of view. Stepping down to their level and talking with them about sex is what parents should do.

There is no “miracle cure” there is no app that will block porn and sexual content and ads, there is nothing that can stop kids from seeing nudity on the internet or on the television, only education and communication can do something to help the minds of our youngsters. They “grow up fast” because you fear to have the “sex talk”.

Sex and advertising

We all know that old line used in advertising and marketing, “sex sells”, but does it really? Well, by the end of this article we hope we could answer this question for you and maybe give you some tips about how to use sex in advertising and how to not fall for the petty strategies that companies use to get you to buy their products.

Let’s start with a bit of history first, sex was used in advertising ever since printing has started becoming accessible and cheap, a funny example is the case of the soap manufacturer W.Duke and Sons, that over 100 years ago included a pack of erotic trading cards in his soap’s packaging. Sex and soap don’t have that much of a connection, of course it is important to stay clean and to use such hygiene products thoroughly before having a sexual experience, but let’s just say that a child goes out and buys a bar of soap, you wouldn’t want him to discover the images of naked women playing around in a tub of water full of bubbles to soon right?

Sex and advertising

This is where, lines have to be crossed, advertising companies are using a part of the human brain that absolutely loves to embrace basic instincts, it’s in our genes to covet food and sex, these are two of the basic human needs and they know this. Ads know exactly how to target these basic urges so that they can sell their products, it’s not necessarily and evil thing to do, but as I mentioned above, there should be some limits on whether or not such strategies should be used so freely.

In modern times we get accustomed to seeing nudity since young ages and this can be a great influence on the ways that we develop further in life, but about this topic we will be talking in a future post, for now let’s just resume to what can happen to a product if it is marketed in a “naughty” way. Of course men will buy a magazine with more eagerness if they see a half naked woman on it’s cover, it’s our nature, we cannot be blamed for it and the editors cannot be judged for using it. But if a well educated man purchases a magazine not only for the cover but also for the content and sees that it is poorly written or simply outrageous then the reader/buyer will feel cheated and downright disappointed in the product that he purchased.

Sex sells, this is an absolute truth, but as all powerful things it life it has to be used with moderation, too much and it develop a negative attitude. Use it smart and it will become a powerful ally, abuse it and it will backfire against you. Getting the right kind of attention for your marketing strategy using sex is a secret that we will uncover later on in future blog posts.