EFFECTS OF SEX APPEAL IN ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
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1.1 Background to the Study
Advertising is a type of non-personal, persuasive communication about goods, services, or ideas that is typically funded by known sponsors and distributed through the media. These days, ads are all around us. We see them when we ride the bus, stroll down the street, drive on the highway, read ads in newspapers, listen to the radio, watch TV, receive SMS ads on our phones, receive emails with advertisements, and most of all, browse the internet.
It takes imagination and ingenuity to write advertising text that is appealing, compelling, and audience-driven. In order to accomplish this, the copywriter uses a range of instruments and strategies, such as precise picture, color, and font placement, as well as meticulous copy element selection and placement, to help achieve the intended results.
Nonetheless, the employment of gender approaches, such as feminine imagery, often known as “sex appeals,” in advertising material is becoming more and more popular, particularly when it comes to promoting clothing and cosmetics. Critics of advertising have criticized the overuse of ladies or women as a persuasive strategy since it can occasionally amount to propaganda, lies, and deceit.
These days, it is uncommon to encounter advertisements in print, broadcast, or even internet media that do not feature women, especially in the beauty industry where women produce the majority of the body, hair, and soap products, among other gender-specific goods.
When women are featured in advertising, they are typically seen using the product. Examples of these include the Always pad, Delta soap, Lux soap, Tura, Joy, and Harpic toilet washer. However, as more women are included in advertisements for luxuries like hotels, cars, motorcycles, etc., this pattern is starting to shift.
Advertisements take advantage of sexuality in order to reinforce sexist ideas and make certain goods and services more desirable to males. A lot of products include graphic, almost pornographic, sexual imagery in their marketing. These pervasive pictures not only promote the idea that sex is a commodity, but they also frequently support the assumption that women are nothing more than objects of sex and may even be a contributing factor to violence against women (Mamah, 2009).
One could argue that utilizing women in product advertisements is acceptable. However, we are concerned when she uses her sexuality in the marketing to demonstrate it and draw attention from males. According to Mamah (2009), “people might end up buying sex, instead of the commodity being advertised.”
These days, there is a great deal of debate about the representation of women in ads across the globe. Some claim that advertisements employ women as followers. Women are viewed by them as decorations meant to accentuate the advertisement’s beauty. They continued by saying that women accentuate and visually appealingly make commercials.
Perhaps, this accounts for why must advert agencies see or feel the impact of women in advertisements as a powerful polarized force of feminine attraction over masculine, a phenomenon well cherished for quick awareness of advert and sale of products. Also, product adverts like Delta soap, Joy soap etc call to mind what effects womanish roles on advertisements can play on the audience.
To Africa and Nigerian especially the northern society, women should remain in their traditional role and remain in their background, unseen and unheard. The African society perceives exposure of women as a most unwelcome thing. In certain parts of African traditional society exposing a female’s body is termed a taboo, just like the Muslim community forbids women from exposing themselves to certain practices which they term evil and ungodly.
Beauty industries create negative effects on teen body image as people especially youths and teenagers love to imitate and be like the women image used in the media beauty advert. Beauty factories create higher self-esteem and make teenagers become unsatisfied with their physical appearance after being exposed to beauty industries’ adverts.
There are some elements of deception and untruth facts in the manner in which beauty is portrayed in the media which cause dissatisfaction and negative thought to teenagers when those results are not achieved. It is against this background that this research investigated the impact of sex appeal in advertising messages with a particular focus on the University of Lagos, Akoka in order to know students’ perceptions and buying habits of such products.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There are enormous varieties of images, or representations of females in newspapers, magazines, television, posters, billboard, and product label advertising, ranging from pictures of women in with wrenches, sexy attire, and pornography, e.t.c
Using women or females in public, particularly in advertisements is against some cultures and religions, especially among Muslims and such advertisements will not be accepted. Young people also learn a great deal about sexual attitudes from the media and from advertising in particular. Advertising’s approach to sex is pornographic; it reduces people to objects and deemphasizes human contact and individuality.
Beauty industries create negative effects on women body image as people especially youths and teenagers love to imitate and be like the women image used in the media beauty advert. Beauty factories create higher self-esteem and make teenagers become unsatisfied with their physical appearance after being exposed to beauty industries advert.
It is against this background the research investigates the impact of sex appeals in advertising with the view to know people’s perceptions and buying habits of such products especially among the University of Lagos, Akoka.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To know the extent to which students of UNILAG are exposed to advertising messages.
- To know the perception of UNILAG students towards sex appeals in advertising.
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extent are students of UNILAG exposed to Advertising messages?
- What is the perception of UNILAG students towards sex appeal in advertising?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research aims at revealing to the general public the impact of using sex appeals in advertisements. However, Advertising consultants, Advertisers (prospective and existing), media practitioners, government, educational institutions, international agencies and the public at large, will also benefit from the study. It will also help students of mass communication, advertising firms and future researchers who want to carry out similar research work.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research was narrowed to the impact of sex appeal in advertising messages using students of the University of Lagos as a case study. Yet the study discusses extensively the concept of advertising, appeals in advertising, advertising strategies using the opposite sex (female) and other advertising areas. However, to effectively discuss the subject matter of this research, effort ‘shall be made on the demographic factors of students of University of Lagos such as age, level, gender e.t.c will be studied before the restructuring and administration of the questionnaire.
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