Wirtz and his co-authors conducted a first-of-its-kind meta-analysis of 78 peer-reviewed studies looking at the effects of sexual appeals in advertising. Their findings were posted online this week by the International Journal of Advertising.
Their research found that not only were study participants no more likely to remember the brands featured in ads with sexual appeals, they were more likely to have a negative attitude toward those brands, Wirtz said.
“The strongest finding was probably the least surprising, which is that males, on average, like ads with sexual appeals, and females dislike them,” Wirtz said. “However, we were surprised at how negative female attitudes were toward these ads.”
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