A close look at how sex is used in advertising, more specifically in chocolate advertising, and how these messages effect women.
Sex is used in advertising for just about any product you can think of. It is used in every magazine, in billboards, in television commercials, and anywhere else ads are placed. While a cliche, it is absolutely true that sex sells. But why does it sell? What makes these sexy images appealing to the consumer? There is not an easy answer to this question. For as many different advertisements as there are, there are as many reasons why sex sells that product. What I have found particularly interesting is the way sex is used in chocolate advertisements. Women have a very long history with both food and food advertisements. Advertisers have found it extremely important to target women in their ads as women have historically been the one to buy, prepare, and serve meals. By looking at how sex works in advertising and a woman's relationship to food, we might begin to understand chocolate advertisements.
These advertisements are seen by many critics as potentially harmful to women. Jean Kilbourne, in her book Deadly Persuasion, feels,
Food ads are often funny, clever, and highly entertaining. But food that is heavily advertised is seldom nourishing and rarely deeply satisfying. Often it is sold in a way that exploits and trivializes our very basic human need for love and connection...but it cannot love us, it cannot fill us up emotionally. (Kilbourne 127)
A closer look at chocolate ads enable us to get a better understanding of how all of these issues come together.
The links on this website will explain a little of why and how sex is used in advertising, a closer look at some of these advertisements, and why their particular messages might not be healthy for women.