Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Sex Appeal: New Age Ad Draws 'Attention' on Social Media

Sex appeal is one of the most controversial advertising approaches found, that is although popular but faces a lot of criticism. Specially, the fact that many advertisers believe that consumers around the world have similar needs and desires and global marketing is becoming more homogenous.

According to O’Keefe Daniel in his book 'Persuasion: Theory and research', there are two general ways to define messages: in terms of intrinsic message features - comparative or noncomparative advertising, or in terms of recipient responses - humor and fear appeals. O’Keefe argues that neither attempt to define message variables is "correct," rather, one can define messages however one likes. What is important is that the definition is clear. In the advertising literature, sexual appeals have typically been defined according to overt message features as nudity, decorative models rather than recipient responses. Possibly as a result, more emphasis has been placed on examining the effects of operationalizations than on discussions devoted to the conceptualization of sexual appeals.

On the other hand, ads loosely defined as "suggestive" are also generally considered examples of sexually oriented appeals in advertising. This category is less concrete compared to nudity, and subsequently, includes a menagerie of stimuli. This class of sexual stimuli has also been referred to as "implicit", primarily because references to sex are implied or subtle. For example sexual innuendo, or double entendre.

One of the new advertising copy of 'Stay On' campaign by New Age Mobile Concepts Ltd., producer of New Age Chargers and Power Banks recently drew lot of attention on social media network especially in LinkedIn for its usage of female gender.

The firm which recently signed Nigeria’s football legend, Austin J.J Okocha as their brand ambassador featured him in awkward situations worth capturing. The campaign reveals the reality people face when their phone batteries whither when they are suppose to capture a critical and intriguing life experiences, activities and moments that can never be recalled again.

Oluwadamilola Ayinde, a Marketing Team Lead at PathCare Nigeria while sharing his view on the ad on LinkedIn wondered how such ad was approved by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (‎APCON). "Dear APCON Nigeria, How did this get approved?  New Age Mobile Concepts Limited has successfully played their part in portraying women as sex objects. Same goes for Austin Jay-jay Okocha. This is really disgusting. What Ad agency did this? TBWA? This ad should be decommissioned", he posted.

Abiola Olaonipekun, a Business Strategy Consultant while responding to Ayinde's post believed there is nothing wrong in the way the lady in ad was portrayed. "We need not be hypocritical; how many of us haven't seen this exact scenario being played out in real life?? So, what's wrong in creating an ad out of it? My only issue with the ad is that IMO it seems more suitable for a mobile phone than a charger. Moral is good, don't get me wrong but people will still do/wear whatever they desire to. Even the Bible says the poor will always be among us; some things will always be", she reasoned.

However, Simeon Ekokobe, in his own opinion succinctly responded that "APCON should do more...."

The advertising agency that created the ad was unknown as at the time of filling this report. 

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