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Is the “Sex Sells” Strategy in Overdrive When it Comes to Getting Attention?
By: Emory Brown
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Once upon a time ago in an America far, far away, being caught in the “Buff” was a no-no. Yet today sexting, sex tapes, and paparazzi nudity attacks can change a personal brand in a matter of seconds, either elevating people to new heights or embarrassing people in ways they never thought were possible. Privacy arguments are being held every day when it comes to the Internet giants who have tons of people’s private information. However, when it comes to the world of entertainment and news, people are being exploited every day. Are we truly witnessing people being victimized by celebrity-circumstance like Kim Kardashian, whose sex-tape with her former boyfriend Ray J was released to the world without her knowing, or are we witnessing the “sex sells” strategy in overdrive?

Today, everywhere you look, people are utilizing sex as the ultimate branding weapon.  Lifetime has a show called the “Preachers’ Daughters” in which there is one family whose daughter is 17 years old and she said on air that she wants to be a porn star because it is the ultimate freedom and she can do what she wants. Then the footage cuts back to her father, who is a preacher who is sitting on the couch like he didn’t hear what his daughter just said. More importantly, he allowed his kid to say this live on television for millions of people to see. I guess the Beatles were wrong when they sang, “Money can’t buy me love.” Because as far I could see he just sold his daughter out.  We all know people are going to be tuning in to see what this little girl is going to do. 

Let us look at the trends. Flavor Flav became a space-age pimp with his show “Flavor of Love.” Gorgeous women engaged in all types of explicit behavior with our “Black Viking” and not one of them is pissed when he’s with another girl. Skylar Diggins, all-star point guard for Norte Dame, just got a “Sexting Attack” with alleged photos of her being released her in the buff. Kate Middleton, the wife of Prince William of England, can’t lie on a private beach without being photographed by some money-hungry pervert. 
Are media and branding professionals becoming semi-porn producers? Or are those in the spotlight stealing a little more shine by giving the masses a quick peek at the goods to keep the interest in their brands going? Well, we do know that “Sex Sells” but the real question is… Do marketers and media pros think that's all the public needs to stay interested? I will just say this… when Rihanna’s reputation took a hit after her fight with Chris Brown, wasn’t it interesting how her sexuality exploded onto the covers of industry mags to rebrand her image?


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About the Author
Emory Brown is an award-winning creative director/writer whose mission is to spread the gospel of what great marketers can do when they put their heads together and work together for the greater good and not the bottom line. Working with many esteemed clients, his portfolio of work ranges in genre from conservative to ultra-modern including American Family Insurance, United Airlines, Mazda 6 and RX-8, Illinois Lottery, Tyson, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike Air Force 1, and Mercedes Benz, to name a few.  
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