Monday, September 21, 2009

Sex Sells

There is not a day that goes by where we don't find ourselves surrounded by sex or references to sex. Not only does sex exist in movies and television, but it is seen greatly in advertisements. Multiple industries throughout the entertainment and fashion world have recognized the success of selling sexual advertisements and how making their products "sexualized" have made a huge impact of targeted audiences. Recently, I've noticed that the fashion industry has been stressing sex in their advertising of their clothes. A prime example of this is the Calvin Klein ads. This ad featured above was banned from the billboard it was posted on in NYC. Clearly this ad is heavily sexualized. The people in the advertisement display sexual poses and are performing sexual acts of caressing and kissing. At the same time, they are practically undressed. However, ads like this are not new. We see many companies throughout the fashion industry using sex as selling point such as ones referenced in the text in chapter 7: Abercrombine and Fitch and American Apparel. The chapter presents an interesting idea that "there is a complex dynamic between commodity fetishism, global outsourcing, and the marketing of cool," (Sturken, Cartwright, pg. 286). The selling of sex has a commodity has been debated for years. there are always controversial issues when it comes to sexualized advertisements. However, the consumer culture has demonstrated the success of selling sex. So how far is too far? This ad was banned from the billboard due to its racy content. Do you blame them? They're basically having sex in the ad and there is no clear indication of selling the clothes. Clearly the thing being sold here is sex. 

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