As a major technique in advertising, sex appeal has been widely used in mainstream consumer advertising in most countries, Liu, F. Cheng, H. Li, J. (2009), however, little is known about consumers’ reactions to sex appeal advertising to different cultures.In their study Nelson & Paek (2008) look at the extent to which nudity in advertising, as a form of sexual imagery, differs across seven countries, and distinguish which factors (i.e. cultural, regulatory or executional) are more or less related to nudity. Liu, Cheng & Li (2009) conducted a cross-cultural study on consumer responses to sex appeal advertising and suggest that Australian, Chinese and US consumers have different attitudes when exposed to the same ad which uses sexual content.
As the use of sexual content in advertising increases, advertisers constantly research the impact sex appeal adverts has on consumers both locally and internationally. However as the variety of cultures within the UK is ever increasing little to no research has been done on whether sexual content within adverts offend women of a particular culture within the UK.
With this gap in the literature being identified the purpose of this study is to identify and evaluate the attitudes of women from various cultures to the use of sexual content in advertising. It will also aim to identify whether those attitudes has an impact on a company’s performance where its target market are women in particular.
Consumer behavior is the study of the processes involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use, or dispose of products, services, ideas or experiences to satisfy needs and desires (Solomon, 2013).
The society we live in is evolving from a mass culture in which many consumers share the same preferences to a diverse one in which we have almost an infinite number of choices (Solomon, 2013). This change makes it more important than ever to identify distinct market segments and to develop specialized messages and products for those groups.
Nelson, M.R., Paek, H. 2008 International Journal of Advertising, 27(5), pp. 715–744
Liu, F. Cheng, H. Li, J. (2009) “Consumer responses to sex appeal advertising: a cross-cultural study”, International Marketing Review, Vol. 26 no 4 pp. 501 – 520
Solomon, M.R. (2013), “Attitude Change and Interactive Communications”. Isabella, M. (eds), Consumer Behavior- Buying, Having, and Being, 8th ed, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey, p.314