Sexy Women in Advertising and Marketing: Does It Work?

Sep 2, 2011 by Bryan Saunders

American-Apparel-Sexy-Woman-Ad

In today’s marketing and advertising world, sexy women are hired all the time to help sell a product.

But do sexy female models really help sell more cars or mascara? Let’s find out.

What Happens When You Use A Beautiful Woman In An Ad?

Sexy-Woman-Burberry-Ad

Youtube advertisement for Burberry

Most behavioural psychology studies show that when beautiful women are featured in advertisements for a product:

  • Customers report that they “like” the product or brand more
    • A 2010 study by Trampe et al. saw roughly a 50% increase in brand liking.
  • Customers become more likely to buy the product
    • Up to 79% more likely to buy, according to a study published in the Journal of Marketing.
  • Customers will pay more for the product
    • A 2011 study in the journal Psychology and Marketing found a 15% increase in the price customers were willing to pay.

Interestingly, these psychological effects hold true for both male and female customers and work especially well for products associated with image (cosmetics, dieting products, clothing).

 

What do you think? Do beautiful people in ads make you want to buy a product more? Have there ever made you want to buy a product less?

Bryan Saunders - Contributor

Bryan Saunders is a researcher, marketing consultant, and internationally published writer.

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