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Case Study: Using Sex to Sell

1 minute read | March 2016

It’s not uncommon for advertisers to use sexual imagery to help sell their brand – especially when they’re trying to appeal to a certain demographic. But what’s the end goal? Some advertisers use sexual imagery to stand out from the crowd. Others may simply rely on sexual imagery to define their brand and their offering. So how do advertisers know if it’s effective?

To counter their run-of-the-mill burger ads, quick-service restaurant Carl’s Jr. has leveraged sexual imagery in a number of its television ads in recent years. A deep-dive using Nielsen TV Brand Effect and Creative Evaluation compared Carl’s Jr. creatives that used sexual imagery with those that didn’t to better understand their effectiveness in advertising. While industrywide conclusions cannot be drawn from one advertiser’s strategy, this analysis makes one thing clear: audience matters.