Underage Sex In Advertising Attracts Older Consumers

ABC News has a big story out today that talks about sex in advertising. American Apparel, BMW, and Gossip Girl are just a few of the latest brands to embrace carnal desire in print ads, but they’re taking it a step farther by putting people who look very young in provocative positions to draw attention to their products. Now, the thing about these ads is that they generally say absolutely nothing about the product they’re promoting. The ads make the media rounds because they’re so provocative. People are introduced or familiarized with the brand when they read about it in various news outlets and blogs, and then when it comes time to actually buy something, consumers think, “I need a gray t-shirt, and I remember American Apparel sells gray t-shirts.” So, good for them for getting our attention, but advertising agencies and the corporations they work for should try to remember their product’s actual audience when coming up with ad campaigns. Gossip Girl is a top-rated show among teens, but they’re clearly going after an older audience with these ads. Maybe they’re trying to go after the older demo — a new study says that for the first time last season, the five broadcast networks’ median age was 50. If this is the case, expect to see a Gossip Girl story line focused on Blair’s romance with a gray-haired friend of her mother’s, maybe her financial adviser, to appeal to older viewers’ fantasies. [ABC News]