Final Poster Design…


“Advertising doesn’t sell, it makes people want to buy”.

An advert exists to sell a product, but in order for that to work, resonance with the recipient has to be achieved, a ‘feeling’ has to be determined.  Selling a product is selling a lifestyle; it is one of the oldest methods in design; as early as World War propaganda featuring phrases such, as “Your country needs you”. This use of a slogan, or imagery can create emotion within the recipient to the extent that they believe the lifestyle the advert design offers. Obviously, the idea that an aftershave will see you having more sex, or that a hair gel will see you leaving a big house to drive to enjoy your casual lifestyle in a fancy sports car is ridiculous, however, as debased as it seems that a pretty woman or handsome man can cause you to purchase a product due to advertising or graphic design, “Sex Sells”!

Tom Reichart, author of ‘Sex in Advertising’; “Whether or not a product is related to sex doesn’t matter, a good marketer can relate a product to sex for profit. In turn, the public will see the advertisement for this product and fail to realize the irreverent correlation between them”. I agree with Reichart that it doesn’t take a product to be related to sex in order for it to be sold in an aspirational or sexually contextualized manner. In the 1930’s, Corn Flakes, originally founded as a toll to stave off masturbation, found that they had a substantial amount of stock that they couldn’t sell, spread the rumor that Corn Flakes boosted sex appeal. Within months, their stock had been sold and their success continued and they are now a household name across the world (However, it is illegal in Ohio to eat Corn Flakes on a Sunday as it is still believed to boost sex appeal).

I am in favour of the use of aspirational selling and using to sex to sell products. The recent Lynx adverts (BBH London), featuring men applying the deodorant and then being surrounded by swathes of beautiful angels featuring the tagline “Even Angels will fall” is a surreal use of aspirational advertising and design; however, it simply says that by wearing deodorant and smelling nice, you will attract more female attention. This demonstrates the purposes of advertising, to give you the basic information would garner no attention whatsoever, but by “sexing it up” it creates a manifested idea of what hygiene is a means to attract sexual partners.

It is not applicable to all product ranges. People on the whole do not aspire to own soap powders, tinned soup, and a certain kind of microwave or a bank account that offers amazing interest rates. These are basic products that most people in the country will own; the aspiration is linked to products that ‘make life better and more enjoyable’. Cars, watches, clothes; such products are obviously more attractive in correlation with the person owning/wearing them. Marketers however, spin this into the idea that you will be as attractive, as successful and as dynamic as the people in the advert.

Changing economic statuses and attitudes to design and advertising do not make certain products any more aspirational. The public is more likely to shun glossy adverts and designs in favour of cheaper products based on the ever-changing economic climate in this country; Iceland are a prime example of this theory. Using dinner parties featuring attractive guests, happy faces and subtle sexy lighting; they have turned discount food into a sleeker alternative to more expensive supermarket chains. A certain demographic will no doubt have shopped at Iceland, but studies conducted by Iceland themselves show that a sale increase over 4 years (in tandem with the double dip recession we have experienced) is due to their advertising resonating with classes across the country and making is “acceptable” to shop at Iceland.

Stephen Heller, author of ‘Sex appeal; the art of allure in graphic and advertising design’ argues; “We are all a product of sex. The future of mankind is dependent on sex. It makes sense to play to this demographic. Sex sells, whether we choose to admit or not!”

The first merger of sex and aspiration was Jordache Jeans in 1979, featuring a topless man and woman riding a horse into the sunset on a beach in America, with the tagline “You got the look I want”. Jordache, Jeans have courted controversy since the inception of this advert, with such notable adverts being the use of “tweens (16-21 year olds) advertising clothing featuring the tagline “Have you ever seen your mother naked?”.

Aspirational and sexual advertising is not a respected tool worldwide. In 2011, the Chinese government banned all ostentatious adverts and design as they were a reminder of they city’s downtrodden residents, highlighting the rich/poor divide. From April 15th, “luxury” “royal” “supreme” and “high class” were banned from bill boards country wide as they believe aspiration creates an unhealthy climate. It seems odd to me that they would ban the very method that has helped create the divide the country is experiencing!

I will maintain the use of sexual and aspiration in any work I produce; they are tools that are successful and enable the recipient to dream and aspire to own the product or respond to the design.


My final idea for the poster is to write in black marker pen, on female bodies and underwear. This will be playing on my question. I will keep the photograph un-edited and use it as the final. The reason i’m doing this is to show that advertising, especially in aspiration, doesn’t have to be airbrushed and edited to catch full attention. I believe that this idea will work, because if a poster of a female in underwear was to be placed around, it would sure catch the man’s eye, and also the ladies!



Most people to shower simultaneously- Lynx Shower set world record


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