Sex sells the Lisbon Treaty to Ireland
And the Irish government and bureaucrats of Brussels deserve to fail, for this sort of advertising on such an important issue is wholly inappropriate. It is one thing to lure people to buy a particular brand of coffee with the come-to-bed eyes of a scantily-clad woman, but quite another to use breast and bulges to persuade the Irish to sign away their liberties and the birthright of children. A post-Lisbon EU will have supremacy over the Irish constitution with regard to its ‘laws, acts and measures’, and using the language of sex to promote a ‘Yes’ to a virtually unintelligible treaty is deception on a colossal scale. The consequences are not a little guilt after a one-night stand, but a permanent and radical shift in the way they are governed. The Irish already have little idea what they are voting for, and these posters do not enlighten one jot.
But sex sells. Good grief, the only reason the Bible has consistently been the world’s No.1 bestseller is because of all the rape, incest, masturbation, bestiality, adultery, fornication, and buggery. If the Irish government wanted to sell bibles, they would highlight the Song of Solomon.
There are many advertisements which use sex to merchandise their products, but these have decidedly different effects on the genders and age groups. According to one survey, almost half of men (48 per cent) said they like sexual advertisements, few women did (8 per cent). Most men (63 per cent) said sexual advertisements have a high stopping power for them; fewer women thought so (28 per cent).
The visual test exposed a similar polarisation. Men tend to focus on an advertisement’s sexual imagery (breasts, legs, skin, etc.), which draws their attention away from the primary elements (logo, product shot, headline). Men’s brand recall is actually worse for the sexual advertisements than for the non-sexual ones. An average of 19.8 per cent of men recall the correct brand/product for the nonsexual advertisements; for the sexual advertisements it is just 9.8 per cent.
For men, sex detracts from the product, and for women, sex causes them to avoid looking at all. Their brand recall is worse with the sexual advertisements, with an average of 22.3 per cent recalling the correct brand/product for the nonsexual advertisements; only 10.8 per cent correctly recall the sexual advertisements.
So, sex in advertising anaesthetises and numbs. It causes men to forget, and women to not bother looking.
Let us hope the EU uses sex more often.