Rather than being Miracle-Gro for brand awareness, sex appears to have a sort of "vampire effect." It numbs the brain to anything that doesn't get your Captain Hornblower in a Tallywicket (we're not sure if that's an actual euphemism). This trend even extends to video games, the one realm where we'd expect shallow smut peddling to have a real advantage. And yet that's not what we've seen. Games featured by Playboy tend to underperform, and titles that flaunt sexy characters (Age of Conan, we're looking at you) don't do any better for it.
Another study of beer ads found that throwing scantily clad women into the picture did nothing to increase consumer recall. Interestingly, they also found that pairing the ads with steamy (oh God, forgive us for using that adjective) shows like Sex and the City further decreased recall.
Above: The worst product placement Grey Goose ever spent millions on.
OK, so sex doesn't sell products. But it still gets you watching, which means that adding a little bit of the moist ballet to your new movie guarantees it some measure of success. Look at movies like Basic Instinct, Starship Troopers or Black Swan. The promise of naked boob is the only thing that got half their audiences to buy a ticket. Or so we'd think.
Movie scientists with the University of California studied over 900 films released last decade and found not one case where sex and nudity improved a movie's box office reception or sales. We're assuming Halle Berry's bare breasts' featured role in Swordfish was the exception, but we can't confirm that.
Robert Evans has a blog. If you'd like to hire him or talk about sex (ladies), you can do so here.
Let's talk about sex, baby, in 6 Ridiculous Sex Myths (That Are Actually True) and The 6 Strangest Objects People Were Caught Having Sex With.
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We have some bad news: Cosmo can't teach you how to please a man, everything porn taught you about sex is wrong, and your favorite book sellers are now taking pre-orders for a text book written and illustrated entirely by the Cracked team! Hitting shelves in October, Cracked's De-Textbook is a fully-illustrated, systematic deconstruction of all of the bullshit you learned in school.
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