Exploring Attitudes of the Millennial Generation towards the use of Sex in Advertising
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Sex has been utilized in advertising for as long as we can remember but it is only since the 1990’s that it has become a popular marketing technique. In more recent times the ‘sex sells’ strategy is not only becoming the norm but bands are coming to exploit it in the hope for a greater reaction from consumers, the ‘shock’ factor. This inductive, interpretivist approach used mainly quantitative methods with the occasional qualitative questions looking at the attitudes of the millennial generation towards the use of sex in advertising. This research aimed to gain an understanding of this new consumer group and the way in which they viewed sex when considering a purchase. As well as establishing whether attitudes are changing when comparing results to previous generations. Questionnaires containing both qualitative and quantitative questions were used to gather data on the attitudes of sexual content used in advertising, the effect this is having on society and self perception as well as if the presences of sex alters purchase intention and decision making. 100 participant completed the questionnaire both male and females aged between 18 and 33. The findings highlighted that men are more aware of the effects of sexualised media, while women accept their position as sexualised objects. And while millennial men are reluctant to compare themselves to sexualised images in the media. Women cutinise themselves against these unrealistic beauty ideals, consequently changing the way they look to adhere to societies view of the ideal image. Although the research has highlighted the negative affects of sexualised media, both genders recognised that this was a good way to promote and sell products with 82% of participants never finding a sexualised image offending. However it was concluded that the use of sex has little affect on consumer’s decision-making process and consequently their desire to purchase. This study provided recommendations for brands future advertising, suggesting they should refrain from using violence and gender stereotyping, as well as presenting women in a more positive light in order to boost women’s self image and consequently retail sales.
BA (Hons) Marketing Management
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