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Sex Sells. Are You Buying?

3 min read

We live in sexual times. Pun Intended From the moment you open your eyes and say good morning to the world to the time you shut same eyes, you are bombarded with sex in all forms and through all mediums. There’s sex on the streets, sex on billboards, on your phones, the internet, the television, radio, books. In short, if it designed for consumption by people, there’s sex in it.

And why not? From inception, man has been a visual being. In other words, we are led by our eyes more often than not. Before we get to be friends with another person we must at least be comfortable with how they look. A phone must at least look decent before we buy it. Before functionality and all those other fancy words come into play, we are mostly led into the most basic decisions we make daily by our eyes.

How many times have you stood at a bus stop, allowing bus after bus (or cab after cab) go by, simply because something about the driver rubbed you the wrong way, or the vehicle was ricketier than you’re used to?

Visual led.

Before the artiste-endorsement explosion, the typical mobile phone service provider billboard came with an attractive woman with bright red lips and a low cut blouse announcing the next available promo from the network. Music videos came and still come with half-naked women parading about in pools, cars and houses. Movies, the typical movie had at least one obligatory sex scene – just because someone thinks it’s necessary.

There was some controversy not too long ago over a billboard advertising a memory card. The image on the billboard was of a man staring at the behind of a girl who was walking past him – and the text of the ad that was supposed to put some context to it failed dismally.

Question: What is the relationship between a memory card and a voyeur?

Answer: Sex sells.

Sex sells, so we hardly bother to task our brains any longer. Just put a half-naked woman in a music video and you have a certified hit record. In other businesses, rumor has it that female marketing executives are ‘advised’ to wear short skirts and low cut blouses so as to market their charms along with their company. This is a truth that has permeated places, sacred places where such things are not supposed to be heard, all in the name of chasing the almighty naira.

But is this all-out assault on our senses really necessary?

Adele released a single in November, 2015 titled ‘Hello’ and she smashed several records within weeks of the release – all without taking her clothes off. She even mentioned it in an interview in which she threw a shade at a certain Kardashian lady famous for taking her clothes off. Some of the world’s biggest brands don’t even do commercials not to talk of having naked bodies all over the place.

But is it really a crime to be so sexual?

The hypocrisy of the average Nigerian should be mentioned. Sex to the average Nigerian is something of a taboo, something done but never talked about. We put all these complaints and frustrations out in the world, yet in private we indulge in our fantasies and private orgies. If really there was a problem with the amount of sex we consume – or is ‘forced’ down our willing throats – something would have been done about it.

We would have a stricter music censorship board, not one that bans music videos ten months after said video was released; nobody would buy anything from a brand that objectifies a human being for the sake of selling a product; and we definitely wouldn’t expend so much data downloading and viewing porn.

So the question really is does sex sell because it is in our faces so much, or sex sells because we’re buying it?

Controversial advertising done right is the bomb is a similar read.

Share your thoughts in the comments!



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  1. Agboola Abraham

    June 19, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Yes sex sells. But it depends on what u term sex. Coca cola recently change the shape of their bottle to look more attractive and of course sexy. Sex could mean design, Brand, packaging, appearance, slogan

    • ReDahlia

      June 20, 2017 at 6:53 am

      You are really funny @’change of bottle’. The truth, is that once a product has a sex appeal, it sells.

      • Chidi Alex Jas

        July 10, 2017 at 5:02 pm

        Sex sells because it is in our faces so much. Also, because we are in the business of buying. But the later is a function of the former though it could have been the other way round… Haha

        • ReDahlia

          July 11, 2017 at 7:55 am

          Yes Chidi. It is also because it appeals to our senses.

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