are sexual commercials effective?

Posted: November 27, 2011 in Youtube
Tags: , , ,

The experiment has, as was told in the last post, been up and running for about a month and the results will be presented under here.

Video number 1: The 5 best sexy commercials

To start out with this video I would like to highlight each arrow on its own. The interest for the video goes down from the start, which could be a result from that the commercial is “slow started” and at the point of the first arrow the interest goes up again. This is where the sexual part of the commercial really starts. The interest continues into the second video, which is shorter and quicker reaches the sexual part. as soon as this part is over the interest yet again goes down, showing that people were less interested in the fun end joke of the commercial. At the third arrow there is a big up and this is at the start of the most sexual commercial in the video. The interest for this video is the highest of all the commercials and when the commercial comes to an end the interest goes down again very fast as the last commercial again has a long intro. When the commercial becomes more sexual the interest again goes up, however it is a very low increase which could be because it is an animated commercial. The last arrow shows that the general interest for this video is 3/5 which is more interesting for comparing with the control video.

I also want to highlight the demographic for this video. That there is viewers from all age groups surprised me as I thought that it would be more popular among the younger viewers. But it shows that all age groups has an interest in these kind of commercials.

It is hard to argue against that “sex sells” when looking on these numbers. The hot spots shows that people has not only watched the video once, but also gone back in it to see the more sexual parts again. However I am still  not sure if people watch the advertisements again because of the sexual content or watching it as an exciting/fun part of the videos. There are millions of homepages offering adult material in all kind of degrees, why are we still attracted to see it on an “innocent” place such as YouTube?  Why do the viewers still go back and view it again even though there is no nudity if they would follow the “sex sell” statement?

I would say that yes, sex in the commercials does contribute towards an interest from some people, however it comes with problems as well. In the video there was one commercial from Sprite which was showing a couple having sex. Many found the video hilarious and they will remember it, but also a great deal of people had negative experiences with the commercial. Many had commented that they would never drink sprite again after seeing the commercial. This might stop with them just commenting on YouTube and not buying the drink again, but it can however also result in great deal of negative publicity and negative word of mouth. The next time the viewer is with his or her friends and are to buy soft drinks and they are seeing Sprite there is a big risk he will share his negative experience, influencing his friends to feel the same. It is also a risk of people to spread these kind of thoughts on all the social medias available for them.

Another problem coming with these kind of commercials is what kind of viewers watches the video and for what reason? Are they really watching it for the commercial or for the sexual part? As the hot spot tells us people do re-run some parts of the video, but only to see more, not to see the point of the commercial. Therefore I would say it’s hard to see the strong beneficial part of having sexual content in the commercial. When a customer is seeing a brand and considering to buy it or not, other people will play a vital role in the decision. If a brand is highly connected with a sexual add or spoken about in social medias, not for its product but for the content of the video there is a higher risk that the customer will choose a different brand. This as they will too be associated with whatever the brand stands for. Even if friends and others in the customers social circles do not remember the brand there is a high risk that they remember the product connected to it. This could again bring up unpleasant discussions when the consumer shows their newly bought product. These arguments are based on that the consumer does not want to be connected with the sexual content. Some might argue that it is a good thing to be connected with, it shows that if you use the product you can get the woman! But it can also be seen from the other side of the coin, their commercials and products are so unattractive that they most use “cheap tricks” such as nudity and sex to create an interest for the product/commercial..

The hot spot also provides an average line, showing how the interest tends to be on other videos of the same length. As can be seen from it the interest is not higher than in any other video of the same length. Again, this might be coming from that the commercials are not attractive – however as more then 240 people have seen them and no one has disliked it I assume the videos are OK.  I say only OK as  there is only one person who has liked the video and there were no comment on it. The reason I bring this up is because if compared to the control video (which I will show more of in the next post) the interest stays above average for a longer time.

So some final words. Yes sex does generate an attraction for the video, however I would not recommend anyone to over use it in a commercial. To show an attractive woman or man can create buzz, but keep it with that, do not push it to far. The risk by pushing it to far is simply that the advertisement do more harm than good. There are other ways to get the viewer’s attention that can be far more effective as will be seen in the next post regarding the control video of this experiment.


  1. Matte says:

    very interesting! Just what i expected 🙂

    • Perra says:

      thanks for reading and commenting. I am currently working on a follow up project I will present within short and also present some other data connected to this. Stay tuned for more!


  2. […] are sexual commercials effective? […]

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