We are sexual beings, we can’t get enough of hearing about your best friends antics on the weekend, or the scandal that plays out on your favourite show or sticking out noses into other people’s sex lives. Sex attracts us. Not every one likes to admit it, but drop the ‘S’ word and you have everyone’s attention, for this reason many companies take this to their advantage and slap a big juicy innuendo onto their advertisements.

We see many companies jumping onto the “sex sells” bandwagon, some companies like Durex who take full advantage of their own sexual nature which works greatly to their advantage. Then there are companies such as Max, a New Zealand clothing brand who launched their online store and just touched on the idea of sexuality and showing ‘just the tip’ of the iceberg. Their campaign shows models with their clothes “loading” onto their naked bodies with the slogan “you can now buy online”. A very mild take on Sex Sells, compared to companies such as American Apparel.

Max Campaign. 2009. http://viacomit.net/2009/05/14/maxshop-naked-     campaign/. Accessed; 21 Aug 2016

American Apparel hits the climax of ‘sex sells’ as it is well known for is “less is more” take on advertising. One take is showcasing young girls wearing nothing but socks as to “advertise” only the socks. I mean we wouldn’t want to get confused as to what was being sold right? These two advertisements introduce two very seemingly sexual girls. The first advertisement on the left shows a stark naked girl with a leg propped up showing obviously the sock. These ads and many more have been banded in many countries as they are just too revealing (Daily Mail. 2015). I mean I can’t see why? These advertisements even go as far as to introduce you to the woman involved, just adding that extra ‘personal’ touch to make it even more uncomfortable than looking at these vulnerable girls.

 Time. 2014. “The 10 Most Controversial American Apparel Ads” http://time.com/2901435/charney-american-apparel-ads/

“Meet Lauren Phoenix. 150 pounds of magic. Actress. Director. Look her up on Google”

Sounds just like a playboy advertisement doesn’t it? Almost like you’re viewing the front page spread and if you turn the page over you’ll be slapped in the face with a titt or too. Well almost. If you do Google ‘Lauren Phoenix’ you’ll be introduced to not only a model, Actress and Director but a very famous adult porn star too. Shocker. These advertisements have been known to take nudity to the extreme to capture the attention of buyers, but in doing so have taken it a step too far as they parade the female body as a coat hanger to display these ‘socks’. But who’s really looking at the socks when it seems all the models are mid climax.

Advertisements need to keep us on our toes; they need to catch our attention to sell their product (Chacko. 2009). Sex is taboo, we shun people who do it, and scorn people who don’t. Adding the shock factor of sex draws people in, it’s intriguing and we just want to know more. It gets us talking. And what’s better than a controversial advertisement that gets your brand out there? Maybe more than just the tip.



Daily Mail. 2015. “American Apparel has ANOTHER advert banned, this time for ‘too sexy’ photos of underage-looking model in thong bodysuit.” Last Modified March 2015. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2998827/American-Apparel-advert-banned.html

Max Campaign. 2009. http://viacomit.net/2009/05/14/maxshop-naked-campaign/. Accessed; 21 Aug 2016

Chacko, Rebecca. 2009. “The Mystery of Sex in Advertising.” Accessed: 21 August.http://www.mhlearningsolutions.com/commonplace/index.php?q=node/5957

Time. 2014. “The 10 Most Controversial American Apparel Ads”http://time.com/2901435/charney-american-apparel-ads/