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March 28, 2007

Science Daily Week: Advertising and Sexy Content

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Today’s Science Daily tidbit is that advertising during television programs with sexy content is less effective than during programs with no sexy content. This is the research finding of Ellie Parker and Adrian Furnham of the Department of Psychology of the University College London.

I loved this quote:

“The fact that recall of adverts was hindered by sexual content in the programmes suggests that there is something particularly involving or disturbing about sexual programmes....”

Then again, I Tivo everything, so television ads are largely irrelevant no matter when they run. It would be interesting to examine whether online advertising is less effective on sites with sexy content. The eyeballs are there, but are they distracted?


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Comments

I'm sorry, what was this post all about? I saw "sexy" and got distracted.

This deeply flawed study was also reported in the Economist. Sample size was 60 people in all, divided into four groups, so we are down to 15 people. As they also analyzed gender, we are down to 7.5 people per group. You might as well roll dice.

But journalists will run with any sexy story they can ...

Guy;

I think the relevancy matter now more than ever.

We live in an age of fragmentation.

Ten thousand messages and so little time.

Grab me with a girl and I might look, but I will not remember.

Hit me where it hurts and I will focus like a laser.

Mike

Nah from my own in depth research I can reliably and professionally inform you that when there's really hot content on TV, people rush off to bonk in the bedrooms thereby missing those less-than-scintillating ads. They then make excuses to nosey-parker marketing stalkers asking them inane questions.

Or at least, that's what happens in my house. YMMV. (Your Mileage May Vary). Heh. :)

*************

Laurel,

Some readers may want to know what shows you watch! :-)

Guy

The site has some usability issues to it. I clicked on the link and went to see the article. From there I looked for RSS link and decided to subscribe it. Problem, the feed does not include any of the articles Guy has been linking to.

The site has way too much content and navigation is difficult. I couldn't see which category I was in when looking at the article.

I wanted to ask their webmaster and saw a link at the bottom of the page "Contact", clicked on it and was taken to another page telling me that page I was looking for was not found.

Just my rambling....

*************

Adnan,

Just keep reading my blog. I'll point out what's useful for entrepreneurs and marketers. :-)

Guy

Hi Guy -- Read back through this week's post and just wanted to give you a heads up about Science Daily. It's a great trove of press releases, and only press releases, so don't forget to use a spin-filter on anything found there.

I would argue that the reason sexy ads are less effective during sexy shows is because the audience is already saturated with sex, so the ads just don't hold the same appeal. In contrast, during "unsexy" programming, sexy commercials fill the audience's need/desire to be aroused.

So I really do not accept the proposition that this proves there is something disturbing or unsettling about sexy content at all.

(note: I'm not defending sexism in the industry!)

Research also shows that guys have two heads. One head with a brain ontop of our neck and one below....

Does that mean that guys think with the wrong head?

"A second, less surprising, finding was that men recalled the brand of products whose adverts contained sexual images, than they did if the adverts were sex-free. Women on the other hand were actively put off by sexual content in adverts."

I think this is the actual gem in the research, although probably otherwise called a cliché.

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