This I Believe
Would a poster containing cleavage catch your eye? It did for many students and faculty at Cal Poly when stickers were placed over the exposed breast on CPSalsa flyers posted around campus. About a year ago, flyers campaigning for a college salsa dance club sparked some controversy around campus. It featured young adults scantily clad in firefighting garments which were posted in the hopes of recruiting new members. Charlie Roberts, a junior who also happens to be the advertising director of the salsa club, wore an open firefighter jacket that exposed part of her breast. The bright yellow jacket was opened enough to reveal flesh in the shape of a “V”, directing your eyes to the center of her chest. Although using sex appeal is the norm for advertising in our culture, a group of individuals were offended and censored these highly sexualized posters with stickers. This actually brought the Salsa Club more publicity from that advertisement than they expected and a large group of new members were welcomed by the club. Sex appeal is an effective method of advertising. We see millions of ads daily and advertisers are constantly pushing the boundaries, exploring how far is too far, before they are titled obscene. Muscular men and stick thin, but curvaceous in the right places, women are portrayed in ads which thrive off of societies desire to be beautiful. These ideals drive consumers to purchase. If they buy that purse, then maybe the gorgeous boyfriend will come with it. Or if Men wear this cologne, women will line up for a chance to smell … or more. Selling sex along with your product works and is used constantly. Ads in any magazine will use males and females for sex appeal no matter how relevant the images may be to the product. Showing suggestive body parts and implying sexual relations have little to do with most products however society appreciates sex, desires sex, and buys sex. So why wouldn’t advertisers use this appeal if consumers value it so highly? With thriving economies advertisers are doing their jobs and maximizing profits. I predict sex appeal will dominate the media for a long time or at least until sex goes out of style.