This Is Your Brain on Advertising: Why Sex Doesn’t Sell

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You know the old cliché “sex sells”? As it turns out, this might not be all that accurate, according to a new review of more than 50 years of research on the subject. In an analysis of 53 studies, Robert Lull and Brad Bushman at the Ohio State University found that people preferred non-sexy ads over the sexier ones; even worse from an advertiser’s perspective, when they viewed ads containing sexual imagery, they often couldn’t even remember the product being advertised.

But why might this be the case? The answer to that reveals some fascinating insights into human psychology. Watch the video to find out, and come back next week for the next episode in the new five-part Science of Us series, “This Is Your Brain on Advertising.”