Writing this thesis has been extremely difficult, demanding, and extremely time consuming, but it has also provided insight into exactly how much of an impact, good or otherwise, sexually implicit advertising has on a predominantly sheltered society.
There are unfortunately a limited number of empirical studies that have been completed on this subject, and perhaps through the offering of this thesis can more advanced and concurrent data be exhumed and learned from.
I would like to thank my professors and supervisors at the University that have helped me along the way in ensuring that I was kept on track during the entire process, for they have been instrumental in helping me through the more difficult times and the “rough spots” that I endured from time to time.
It is anticipated that this thesis will only be the beginning forage into an unknown and provocative world of advertising and provide additional material to carry on with future students.
The world of advertising has the inevitable task of having to cater to all factions of societies in which companies seek to capture a share of the consumer market. Advertisers must tailor its attempts at delivering brand messages depending on the target audience, be it members of Western or Eastern cultural groups.
The reaction to sex in advertising can be viewed in a positive or negative fashion, depending on the values and perceptions of those who view the ads.
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As one of the more provocative global advertisers, Benetton continually looks to engage the public in their form of sexually-driven advertising in an attempt to gauge the reaction of the public.
Although Benetton is only one of the major Western advertisers that is making inroads in the eastern hemisphere, they have an interesting task of marketing to more conservative sectors of society, mainly the Asian people. The Asian community has a long-standing embedded value system that may or may not ever catch up to the impressionable Western culture group.
Due to the cultural differences that exist in Asian culture, Western-based advertisers have a formidable task in figuring out how to deliver brand messages in ways that are both effective and culturally acceptable. This poses a significant challenge to advertisers, because they must thoroughly research the ideals and beliefs of those to whom they seek to direct their brand messages.
When looking at advertisements with sexual undertones, Western culture views this type of “shock” advertising as generally accepted and it is not really given a second glance as it is viewed as an acceptable part of societal values
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