||Although recent studies have begun to examine potential factors that might|
affect sexual appeals effectiveness, many questions remain unexplored. Based on
previous studies relevant to sexual appeals, this study firstly distinguishes and
explores two types of sexual appeals: implicit and explicit. Furthermore, this study
compares the effects of two types of sexual appeals when product types are
considered. In addition, sensation seeking is also incorporated into this research to
examine how it may sway the effectiveness of the sexual appeals.
The present study uses experimental design to investigate the advertising effects
of different types of sexual appeals (non-sexual appeal vs. explicit appeal vs. implicit
appeal) and product type (sex-related vs.non sex-related). A 3X3 factorial design is
conducted. The ad effects are measured by purchase intention and attitude toward the
brand to observe the response under different scenarios.
The results indicate that when a sex-related product is promoted, sexual appeals
are more effective than non-sexual appeals. There is an interaction effect between
sexual appeal and product type. To be specific, the explicit sexual appeal is more
effective than the implicit sexual appeal when a sex-related product is promoted.
However, such superior effects disappear as it turns to non sex-related product
promotion. Additionally, for individuals with higher sensation seeking, the explicit
sexual appeal is more effective than the implicit sexual appeal when the product is
related to sex. On the opposite, for those with median degree of sensation seeking, the
implicit appeal is more effective than the explicit appeal to promote the product which
is not sex-related. Finally, for those with low degree of sensation seeking, there is no
difference in advertising effectiveness between explicit and implicit appeal.
According to these findings, this study suggests that marketers should consider not
only the product they promote but also the sensation seeking of the target consumers
before choosing an appropriate sexual appeal to maximize the advertising effects.