Home Pop Culture Violence in Advertising and why it sells.

Violence in Advertising and why it sells.




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In our wider culture, trash, misadventure and traditional values have been contested and turned on their heads. It is a no-brainer, then, that the visage of good looking men and women threatening to hurt each other is a selling point. The bigger question of course would be how would the same ads fair if, instead of young beauties, we used overweight balding men and women with sagging breasts (as opposed to their nubile, desirable, perky counterparts)? Would the ads still sell or would we all be collectively disgusted? Is the existence of beauty perpetrating a potential sin always more palatable than an overbearing ogre?
Even Jimmy Choo, the show maker, gets into the picture with suggestions of domination, pain, S&M pleasure. You will be victimized, sodomized but at least you will look glamorous as the crimes are perpetrated by (or to) you. How did this implied statement get into our daily lexicon and why does it carry so much veracity and adulation? After all, would we feel the same way if corn flakes for children were depicted that way? Or is it fine if the consumers targeted are adults, immersed in the game of getting into each other’s pants?
Ultimately the question comes down to the consumer: is s/he compelled to buy the products, are they willing to be defined in such nebulous terms? If they are not, one can expect to see the ads quickly disappear. As of going to press, the phenomena is very much alive and kicking. After all, you the consumer are getting one hell of a kick from it all. ‘Buyer beware’ has never made more sense.


  1. Interesting article, but I am surprised you didnt mention the irony of the increasingly violent advertising and advertisers being the first to drop celebrities when they commit violent crimes. ie chris brown or kobe bryant.

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