Another Study Shows Violent, Sexual Content Hurts Ad Success


Another Study Shows Violent, Sexual Content Hurts Ad Success

A new study similar to previous ones shows again that violent and sexual content in the media decreases advertising effectiveness.

Published by the American Psychological Association, the study found that depictions of sex and violence in the mass media, whether in programming or in the ads themselves, ultimately deter consumer purchasing.

Violence had the biggest negative effect, the study found, but as the sexual content of an ad increased, “viewers’ memory, attitudes and buying intentions all decreased.”

“Sex and violence do not sell,” the study’s co-author, Brad J. Bushman, professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University, said. “Thus, advertisers should think twice about sponsoring violent and sexual programs, and about using violent and sexual themes in their ads.”

Past scientific studies have shown similar results. A couple of them have shown that family programming and family-friendly advertising have positive results when it comes to advertising effectiveness.

For example, MacDonald’s Hamburgers and Coca-Cola achieved great success in the past by appealing to the average two-parent American family, including children.

Furthermore, as MOVIEGUID®’s own research on box office and home video sales has shown for the last 22 years, the most family-friendly movies make much more money per movie than the least family-friendly movies.

For example, 85% of the Top 20 All-Time Movies Adjusted for Inflation Domestically were G or PG rated.

– Sources:  American Psychological Association, 07/21/15, and MOVIEGUIDE®.


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