May 9, 2006

Hell Yes, Sex Sells!

University of Colorado marketing professor Paul Herr and the late Yong-Soon Kang, an associate professor of marketing at Binghamton University, argue that images of sex and attractive people can actually hurt product credibility and detract from sales.

While the study relevantly shows that credibility may take a hit, it should be pointed out that the marketer responsible for putting that good-looking, half-naked girl next to the product was not interested in credibility, simply attention. And guess what? It worked. Once.

When you compete for attention with gimmicks and superlatives, you will achieve it. Once. After that, you had better bring something worthwhile to the table, or your customer who was drawn in by impressive advertising or spokespersons will walk away frustrated from the lack of anything substantial. (Unless, of course, he managed a date with the spokeswoman.)

Screaming for attention can be effective from time to time, as long as you have something to scream about.