Today, I thought I would write about how sex sells. In some ways, I wish that weren’t the case. In other ways, I’m pleased that it does.
Is that a paradox? A conflict? A contradiction?
Maybe, but sex sells. Even when I was an adolescent, advertisements depicting a sexy girl, or even just her lingerie, appealed to me. Now, remember, this was in the age before personal computers, and nudie magazines were just getting underway. Yep, I’m dating myself. What I had available to me was the NY Times advertisements for ladies undergarments, National Geographic of back world communities, and Learn how to draw the female figure books.
Since those days, I’ve realized that everything, from selling cars, tobacco, alcohol, or even children’s toys, sex is somehow used to draw in the buyer. For me, and I presume most people across the planet, I tend to skip over ads of just the product, but put a sexy face, hand, body, or whatever, and I pause. This goes for men and women. Remember the Marlboro man? He didn’t interest me, but it did appeal to many of my female friends of the day. Just look at the photo, would any one of these ads cause you to stop for a moment. Of course they would. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t.
So, what is it about the phrase sex sells. I know that marketers are determined to get their audience to give their product the once over. Once someone pauses to check out the product, they know that there is an excellent chance to sell that product to the viewer. It’s mass marketing on a grand scale. If they can get a hundred among a thousand to stop and look at the pretty face in the advertisement, and of those one hundred, one buys the product, they win. Why? Because they advertised to millions.
Do the math. Volume counts and the products sell. You just have to know your audience and your intended target.
Now, how do I apply that to marketing my books, on a shoestring budget? I wish I knew. I am advertising, for sure. Instinctively, I also knew I needed a sexy girl or image on my book covers. Most have the girl; all have the sex. Among the millions of books out there, how do I capture the interest of the person casually perusing shelf after shelf of books? It’s on the cover. It is my primary advertising.
They say, ‘a picture is equal to a thousand words.’ That is so true for me. Is it for you?