The Half-Naked Truth

Sex sells products. Despite the moral implications involved, advertisers continue to rely on sex appeal and promiscuous behavior to sell products. Now it’s easy for us to recognize the problems that arise as a result, and you don’t need to be a Mississippi fundamentalist to do so. Sex is so engrained in our media that one cannot watch 15 minutes of television without being shown sex in some form or another. From an advertisers perspective sex is a very powerful tool, simply put, the consumer is human and inherently will become intrigued when viewing material related to sex. This trend is often times seen in fashion advertisements.


Many of us can remember walking into an Abercrombie store at some point in time and being bombarded with gigantic posters of half naked men and women. So long as humans have an inherent need for romance we will continue to gravitate towards depictions of the desired sex, much like a moth to the flame. So of course we must beg the question of ethicality rather than opening up our wallets whilst drooling like a Neanderthal. Well a business insider article did just that when they published an article entitled “13 Brands That Use Sex to Sell Their Products” and sure enough Abercrombie and Fitch was included along companies like American Apparel, Armani, Old Spice, and Axe Body Spray. Funny story I had a friend confide in me once that he was afraid to use Axe body spray as a child because he thought it would turn on his mother and sister. The ethicality of high-powered pheromone mists is next week’s subject matter.

Recent attempts to woe consumers can be seen in advertisements of the past Superbowl, specifically in regard to David Beckham’s appearance in the H&M commercial. In the commercial viewers are asked to tweet either #covered or #uncovered while watching David Beckham prance around in his underwear. As a heterosexual male even I can tell you that it is very effective.

Fashion companies have found a prosperous way of communicating their brands to their target audience because they know what message will resonate with the audience. Not only does sex resonate, it helps to bring in a higher average of gross income per year for the more frequently advertised and credible fashion lines. One can’t help but wonder whether the value of popular fashion brands would depreciate if the sex appeal approach was no longer used in advertisements.

Austin Johnson, Jade Lester