Media analyzer article-adweek-does-sex-really-sell-2005
Survey Survey Lon the sexual imagery, starting with the model’s breasts, then going ooking at the sexual MasterCard ad, the men spent a lot of time differences in time spent on certain regions of the ad were smaller. The cigarette ads offer similar findings in terms of viewing paths either to her face above or the hamburger below, largely ignoring and attention by region. However, the sexual cigarette ad brought a any text. The women largely avoided the sexual imagery. The differ- more welcome response from women than the sexual ads in most of ences were less pronounced for the nonsexual ad, although the view- the other categories did. In terms of ad like, product like and purchase ing paths did diverge. Men first explored the model’s body, includ- intent, the women’s answers closely tracked the men’s in this case. ing her knees, before eventually reaching the logo. Women almost This may be because the ad is a drawing, and in an old 1940s pin-up immediately began exploring the text elements of the ad. But the girl style, and not seen by men or women as a “hard” sexual ad. —T.N. At First Glance Over Time MEN WOMEN MEN WOMEN HEADLINE: 11% 14% TEXT: 4% 5% FACE: 26% 31% Sexual BREASTS: 31% 11% PICTURE: 24% 31% LOGO: 3% 7% Credit Cards HEADLINE: 18% 22% PERSON: 61% 53% Non-sexual PICTURE: 2% 2% Does Sex Really Sell? TEXT: 3% 3% LOGO: 15% 18% Survey explores how jeans, shoes and alcohol. MediaAnalyzer used the data from the visual test to create versions rect brand/product for the nonsexual ads; for the sexual ads, 9.8 percent did. MediaAnalyzer men and women look at of the ads that show viewing patterns (with arrows) and time spent in each ad region calls this the “vampire effect,” with a too- strong visual sucking up a lot of the attention sexually charged ads (with percentages). Those versions are repro- duced over the next three pages. (The study that would have otherwise been spent on an ad’s actual communication. HEADLINE: 20% 21% also produced “heatmaps,” not featured in Women, meanwhile, tend to avoid looking LEGS: 20% 25% S ociety drives people crazy with lust and this story, which show the emergence of each at the sexual imagery, but curiously, their FACE: 20% 19% calls it advertising,” John Lahr once ad’s “hot spots” over five seconds of viewing.) brand recall was worse with the sexual ads, PRODUCT: 13% 14% Sexual wrote. Of course, whether that craziness Responses to the general questions in the too. An average of 22.3 percent recalled the translates into sales is debatable. survey revealed that sex in ads is a polarizing correct brand/product for the nonsexual ads; BREASTS: 16% 5% MediaAnalyzer Software & Research in issue. While almost half of men (48 percent) only 10.8 percent correctly recalled the sex- TEXT: 0% 1% Somerville, Mass., recently set out to explore said they like sexual ads, few women did (8 per- ual ads. MediaAnalyzer hypothesizes that this PERSON: 6% 5% Cigarettes how men and women look at sexually themed cent). Most men (63 percent) said sexual ads might be the result of a general numbing ads and what effect, if any, that visual behav- have a high stopping power for them; fewer effect that sexual stimuli has on the brain. WARNING: 5% 5% ior might have on the ads’ effectiveness. In women thought so (28 percent). Also, most In trying to determine the effectiveness of LOGO: 4% 5% September, the company had 200 men and women (58 percent) said there is too much each ad, the survey measured three other cri- 200 women take an online test. The first part sex in advertising; only 29 percent of men said teria besides brand recall: ad like, product like of the test solicited general opinions about so. Women were also much more likely than and purchase intent. Men said they liked the KEY VISUAL: 47% 42% sex in advertising. (Those answers are sum- men to say that sexual ads promote a deterio- sexual ads more, liked the products advertised HEADLINE: 24% 27% marized in charts on page 17.) The second ration of moral and social values and that they in them more and would be more likely to TEXT: 2% 1% Non-sexual part involved a visual test in which Media- are demeaning for the models used in them. buy those products. Women scored the sexu- WARNING: 7% 7% Analyzer used its AttentionTracking software The visual test exposed a similar polariza- al ads lower than the nonsexual ones on all to follow the visual behavior of respondents tion. Men tend to focus on an ad’s sexual three of those criteria. PRODUCT: 19% 24% as they looked at 10 print ads. (The software imagery (breasts, legs, skin, etc.), which draws MediaAnalyzer also uses the data to offer has users move the mouse over each ad to their attention away from other elements of advice for agencies considering using sexual indicate where he or she is looking.) The ad the ad (logo, product shot, headline). This images. For info, visit MediaAnalyzer.com. sample consisted of two U.S. print ads, one may be why men’s brand recall was worse for Over the next three pages, we focus on how sexual and one nonsexual, from each of five the sexual ads than for the nonsexual ones. men and women looked at each pair of ads. product categories—cigarettes, credit cards, An average of 19.8 percent recalled the cor- —TIM NUDD 14 OCTOBER 17, 2005 www.adweek.com www.adweek.com OCTOBER 17, 2005 15
Survey Survey A jeans ad shown here—for Diesel—did not have as large a male/ T for how men and women typically respond to sex in advertising. In s with the Camel cigarette ad on the previous page, the sexual Response to the nonsexual ads on this page was also curious. Ad he whisky ads, much like the credit-card ads, are good templates Almost 60 percent of men said they liked the sexual whisky ad; effectiveness for most nonsexual ads (credit cards, cigarettes, alco- less than 15 percent of women did. For the nonsexual ad, the lika- female split in terms of likability as most of the other sexual ads did. hol) was almost identical for men and women. However, women the sexual ad, the men tended to focus more quickly and for a longer bility scores were close, both around 30 percent. More than 25 per- Partly, this may be because a male model is the central figure. Also, responded better than men to both the nonsexual Polo jeans ad and duration on the model, particularly her breasts. Conversely, the view- cent of men said the sexual ad made them want to buy the product. women might feel this is a “soft” sexual ad and thus not be turned the nonsexual Skechers ad. For the Polo ad, the male model again ing patterns for the nonsexual ad were the same for men and women. Almost no women said the same. —T.N. off as strongly by it. The viewing paths also suggest that the visual may be a factor. For the Skechers ad, MediaAnalyzer theorizes that behavior of people looking at this ad may be determined as much by it may have to do with the use of a celebrity, American Idol’s Carrie the geometric style of it as by the sexual imagery. Underwood, who is more popular with women than men. —T.N. At First Glance Over Time MEN WOMEN MEN WOMEN At First Glance Over Time HEADLINE: 5% 8% MEN WOMEN MEN WOMEN FACE: 16% 13% BACK/BOOTS: 49% 44% PICTURE: 19% 30% Sexual PRODUCT: 12% 17% BREASTS: 32% 15% BOOTS: 31% 33% PRODUCT: 23% 27% Sexual LOGO: 4% 3% BELLY: 2% 3% TEXT: 1% 1% Alcohol Jeans HEADLINE: 9% 9% KEY VISUAL: 57% 63% Non-sexual TEXT: 6% 5% TEXT: 9% 7% BACKGROUND: 3% 2% PRODUCT: 22% 19% Non-sexual KEY VISUAL: 65% 70% HEADLINE: 25% 22% FACE: 13% 10% Attitudes Toward Sex in Advertising: Men vs. Women BREASTS: 16% 6% PICTURE: 25% 15% I like ads with sexual themes 8% Ads with sexual themes that show 21% 48% male models are demeaning to men 7% Sexual HEADLINE: 19% 20% PRODUCT: 24% 47% Ads with sexual themes make 3% Ads with sexual themes are a sign 43% me purchase a product 8% of a general deterioration of moral 20% and social values Ads with sexual themes make 28% Shoes me look at them 63% Ads with sexual themes show that we are developing a more natural 14% PICTURE: 12% 18% There is too much sex in 58% relationship with our bodies and 28% PERSON: 32% 14% advertising 29% our sexuality Non-sexual PRODUCT: 40% 53% NAME: 5% 3% Ads with sexual themes promote a general deterioration of moral 42% Ads with sexual themes make 11% LOGO: 10% 8% 20% me remember a brand 33% and social values Ads with sexual themes pose a Ads with sexual themes that 34% threat to the proper upbringing 44% show female models are 14% 24% of children demeaning to women 16 OCTOBER 17, 2005 www.adweek.com www.adweek.com OCTOBER 17, 2005 17
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