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Sex Sells Because Consumer Behavior Says So

Capitalism is the root and continuous fuel that drives the American economy into greatness. When someone has an idea, and wants to push that idea forward to help solve a problem in society, they would need to market their ideas in a way that provides a competitive advantage . However, if one views their product that fills a desired want for their consumers, they will use marketing techniques that engage in such behavior. As an advocate for women’s rights and equality, I believe the American society markets well-known brands and products that objectify women. This summer, I traveled to East Asia on a mission trip to volunteer and serve children and women who have been victims of sex-trafficking. After I came back to the U.S., I saw with clearer eyes on how the American society views sex — it is viewed with a price. Sex sells indirectly where it fuels people’s deepest desires, objectifies women, and corrupts the value behind purity.

Marketing tactics are used to engage the consumer with a product, carrying the universal hope that their strategies stand out from their competitors, boost revenue and create a tribe of consumers. However, some marketing tactics are used to promote sensuality to engage the consumer to buy a product. Advertisements that promote Victoria’s Secret, Carl’s Jr., and Dentyne Ice use sensuality because it is a “deep” want that all human beings desire. In other words, sex is a leading factor when it comes to consumer behavior due to the consumer believing that if they purchase the product, they will receive sex in return. Psychologistworld.com writes that these messages can also be found through subliminal messaging — a signal that is made to drift beneath the average limits of perception. For instance, according to Business Insider’s “13 Brands That Use Sex to Sell Their Products”, Dentyne’s Ice ads use sensuality to promote fresher breathe that leads to better kissing, then eventually sex by telling people to “Practice Safe Breath” then “double your pleasure, to double your fun”. I think the progressive culture we live in today has fueled the demand for sex to the highest degree. Using sensuality to drive a consumer to purchase a product, creates a future pattern in their consumer behavior to purchase similar products that have a sensual desire behind it . The progressive culture has perverted the marketing world by using sex as a tool for instant engagement to satisfy a consumer’s need.

Also, American television influences how people depict the world and society. Since sensuality is a leading factor to spark people’s interest, it influences how an average American can view women. Through music, fashion, cosmetics, sports, and food, women are advertised as hypersexualized beings when promoting a certain product. For instance, when the Superbowl is live on people’s TV network, Carl’s Jr promotes their charbroiled burgers by using a voluptuous woman sexually eating the burger either on a beach or sitting on top of a car . Isn’t it obvious that this imagery leads to a desirable fantasy? Again, using sensuality as a marketing tactic to promote a product sends additional messages to perceive women as objects and desirable.

Some may say that sex is used as a form of art and we should appreciate the human body. Indeed, culture depicts sex for deep connection that is deemed necessary for people’s emotional, and intimate health. For most Americans, the meaning behind sex is a leading factor that influences culture’s aesthetic through music, literature, fashion, and the subconscious. People desire a deeper connection that awakens intimacy, and profound passion for another person. The truth is that people want to feel accepted by being desirable in a variety of ways. Because sex is a high demand, people want to purchase products that will fulfill the sexual desire that they are craving. In turn, sex has become devalued and stiped from its once holy statute because our culture says it is easy to find, we can get it whenever and wherever we want.

For that reason, American culture has a corrupted perception into thinking that sex is measured at a price to influence consumers’ minds. This devalues the meaning of purity because sex is no longer considered as sacred, but accessible to fulfill people’s intimate needs. When things are easily accessible, it loses its appreciation over time because it’s used frequently without reconsidering its worth. Sex is for a husband and wife and should be used for the sole purpose of grabbing people’s attention. If today’s society truly dedicates its businesses to advocate for the betterment of humanity, it should also advocate a change to revert the true standard of what sex is intended for. Let us transform our marketing tactics in a way where it doesn’t activate people’s sexual desires. Let it activate the change to improve people’s identity.   

Merikle, P. (n.d.). Can Subliminal Messages In Adverts Influence Our Behavior? Retrieved

November 16, 2019, from https://www.psychologistworld.com/influence-personality/subliminal-adver….

Rogers, A. (2012, February 3). 13 Brands That Use Sex To Sell Their Products. Retrieved

November 16, 2019, from https://www.businessinsider.com/13-brands-that-use-sex-to-sell-their-pro….

Hello! I was born and raised in San Diego, California. I am a junior at Grand Canyon University while majoring in Communications with a double minor in professional writing, and marketing. As a young woman, I am looking forward to making new experiences where I can learn and grow.
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