Does sex in advertising really sell products?
As consumers we are bombarded with messaging and many advertisers, trying to break through the clutter use sex as a marketing ploy. Think of all those beer and alcohol commercials and yes, even Go Daddy. But this Los Angeles billboard from Subway, really caught my eye–not because it is particularly good but its use of the word “Sex” with no relevant branding to Subway, other than to try to gain stopping power.
I think Subway could have been more clever than this to get consumer’s attention. Wouldn’t a really deliciously-looking Subway sandwich being bitten by a beautiful person ooze appetite appeal (and perhaps sex appeal) with better branding? Just shouting the word “Sex” does not cut it. To me, it looks like the copywriter and art director ran out of good ideas.
Sex in advertising does sell but only when it is in good taste. As marketers, we need to think about the brand’s equity beyond short term stunts to best position the brand for the longer haul. Subway looks a little desperate with this move.