Sex sells… or does it?

As attitudes to sex and gender continue to evolve rapidly, driving the nature of the overarching narrative in very different directions, the old adage may not be as clear-cut as it once was.

Our strategist Sara Beech shared her view with Campaign on this classic debate, and how a change in audience means a change in conversation…

Historically, it was a very homogenous, narrow, white cis-male gaze which was our interpretation and experience of sex in advertising. Now that young people are exploring and experimenting with different identities, we’ll see more openness to a multiplicity of viewpoints.

But to authentically reflect those viewpoints, the industry needs more diverse voices: Sex is becoming more of a democratic property.

Sara Beech

Today, you have only to look as far as the success of Boohoo or the Kardashian empire to see that the tactic of “sex sells” can still work in its narrowest definition. Yet as attitudes towards sex, gender and love continue to change, the brands that wish to reflect humanity in its fullest sense must keep up – or risk becoming an anachronism.

With any sort of new movement, there’s going to be that crossover period, with relics of the old and beginnings of the new. Younger audiences are coming up and starting to take more control over the conversation.

There is a growing demand from consumers to see more honest and diverse portrayals of gender and sex in advertising. What’s sexy, from that traditional perspective, no longer passes muster.

The full article can be read here.

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