Tuesday, April 7, 2009

No longer just Cars, Booze and Cologne

The triad of male-centric advertising; cars, booze and cologne. They all have the same target audience, almost exactly, and they all used the same advertising technique for decades. Sex. Well not quite sex, but the potential for it, the insinuation of it, or even the promise of it (at least indirectly). Ads for any of those products traditionally featured very attractive women posing provocatively, wearing incredibly sexy clothes, or barely hiding a distinct lack of clothes.

But all that changed.

We were up. Advertising grew up. Well, it didn't really grow up but it did get slapped on the wrist a few times and decided that t would be best to change with the times. Cars became about fuel efficiency, families and, more recently, the environment. Booze is about responsible drinking, having responsible fun with your friends, going to responsible sporting events and generally drinking just enough booze to have fun, but remain responsible. Cologne probably changed the least. It still regularly features people wearing very little, the only difference is that now cologne ads feature male actors or male celebrities.

So where has all the sex gone? Is there no where left in advertising (bar condoms or Viagra) where sex is appropriate?

Well there are a few places where very obvious sexual overtures have been used, but they're not the places you'd expect to find them...

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