Common “Wisdom” Put to the Test:
Sex in advertising only on Mars and not on Venus?
Darren W. Dahl, Kathleen D. Vohs and Jaideep Sengupta
An ongoing controversy concerns sex in advertising: does “sex sell”? Scientists, in large part, have concluded that it doesn’t, but marketing practitioners continue to use sex appeals, suggesting they do work. The authors of the second research flashlight reveal that both sides are partly right and partly wrong. They took advantage of a technique that allowed them to tap into consumers’ “gut” reactions to advertisements, and in doing so found clear differences in who did and did not like sex appeals.