Sex, lies and marketing content

What better way to convey curiosity, longing and pleasure than with copy and/or imagery that’s a little sexy? Image from

Robert Bruce over at Copyblogger argues that sex doesn’t sell. He says it’s a cheap distraction that ultimately dilutes your message in the long term.

“Start marketing at the start, and you’ll find that the writhing, pushing, sweating bodies of hype are merely a diversion that your business — and your audience — can’t afford,” Bruce says.

I respectfully disagree. The argument’s a little too black and white for me. If sex doesn’t sell, then how do you explain a century’s worth of advertising? Marilyn Monroe? Burt Reynolds? “50 Shades of Grey“?

Sex isn’t all hype. It’s human instinct, and it has its place. If it is used for its own sake, with no meaning within a particular narrative, then yes, it’s unnecessary and harmful to the overall message. But to write it off as meaningless filler is to ignore a major driver of human behavior, for better or for worse. Proceed with caution, writers and content strategists, but don’t be afraid to take risks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s