Sexuality and Older People Portrayed in the Media
Sexually suggestive materials are common points used for advertisements, in any medium. It is observed in print, picture, or heard on the radio. Besides being a trick of the marketing trade, it plays off of human nature. It is the reason for the old adage, “Sex sells.” In the selected advertisement, sexuality in older adults is literally being sold. Sex is the product being sold, rather than the vehicle typically used to sell the product. This ad is atypical for the type product, both in its message and in the use of the various perspectives of human sexuality.
The ad itself is for an erectile dysfunction drug. It is one of several commonly available to men, upon Doctor’s diagnosis and with a prescription. A recent study by the Cleveland Clinic claims that erectile dysfunction is common in older adult men, and outlines a growing use of treatments. It states the forty percent of men in their forties are effected, increasing to seventy percent by age seventy (Wood, 2018). Treatment is globally available for these drugs, with most oral remedies being available by the mid-2000 (Mobley et al., 2017). Marketing for these drugs is commonplace and can be found in all mediums.
The message is one of its two physiological components: This drug will overcome your problem if your problem is erectile dysfunction. The condition that is erectile dysfunction prevents men from obtaining an erection of a quality that would enable and allow intercourse. This drug will allow you to have that.
The second component of the physiological aspect of this ad is the content. It will seamlessly tie into the psychological aspects of sexuality. An attractive woman, dressed to suggest sexual relations, placed in an open manner and in a desirable circumstance. The aim here is being to bring the idea of sex to the mind of the observer, remind you of this unfortunate physical condition, and provide the prospective consumer with their brand’s solution.
The psychological aspects of the selected image are seemingly engineered to be inviting. The scene is cast to be bright, sensual, and warm. There is a hint of adventure in a paradise like setting. They inter twine with the physiological aspects and build off the obvious in order to convey the message to the observer.
The woman in the ad appears mature, but with an undertone of youth. This suggests experience and someone who is comfortable with what she would like. Her hair, smooth skin, and demeanor reinforce that implication. She is a very beautiful woman in a generic, middle of the road way, with an air of class. This is most likely done for the sake of the advertisement. Her posture is slightly more than subtly suggestive, yet still safe, and elegant. It is open without being entirely inviting. It is do not dirty. Importantly, though, she is not closed off. Her posture, again, suggests she knows what she wants, and in that moment, she is open to the possibility. She is also suggestively clothed, however, not to take away from her elegance, cheapen the tone, or as overly sexually aggressive. This idea is captured in that the cleavage of her breasts are not explicitly featured. Instead, the cut of her attire stands in as a more subtle, less explicit, means. She is not wearing much clothing, though, she is not scantily clad. Paradise is the back drop. The bed is white and clean, as inviting as our model. The lighting is bright and accentuates the contrast with the rich blues of her clothing.
Everything featured in this advertisement is a deliberately warm and sensual. Most importantly, since it is an advertisement, safe and appealing enough to broadly market in various magazines. While many of the descriptors used reference the body, the photo is constructed to stir the sexual connotation of itself in the observers mind. It is definitely suggesting sex, but also conveys a bit of sensuality, and even a luxurious experience.
Culturally, the ad is secular, however, the advertiser is cautious enough in their execution so as to not be perceived as dirty or immoral. On the contrary, the advertiser is safely conveying sexuality and is primarily aiming towards a mature market. This ad is targeted to a demographic that will observe it in a medium that is permissible to sexuality. For example, this ad would be placed in a men’s magazine. It would not be placed into a medium that has a broader range, say, older children or teens, or be placed into a publication with a religious market. Also, there is restraint in the amount and degree of sexuality which keeps the content from tumbling into the realm of inappropriate for mass marketing. It is arguable, though, that just getting the ad out to any age group of men is an additional bonus, seeing that recreational use of the erectile dysfunction drugs is not uncommon (Harte & Meston, 2010).
The social aspects portrayed relate that sexual relations are a normal topic and suitable for entertaining by adults. It utilizes standard gender roles and communicates the relations to be occurring between a man and a female. While it does not illustrate a same sex relation in its content, the text, and the nature of erectile dysfunction itself, squarely places it as a male only problem. This makes its solution, also, primarily male. It is a safe assumption that the men observing the article could take the text message and apply it to their own sexuality, despite the pictorial content.
In closing, this product advertisements, along with competitor products, are largely similar to this one. The backdrop may change, along with the attire and characteristics of the female model. However, this type of ad always displays a beautiful woman with a slight but definite degree of sexual implication. Sexual fulfillment will be suggested. To do so, like in this ad, the psychological and physiological facets of sex will be capitalized on and placed into the market when and where socially acceptable.
- Harte, C.B., & Meston, C.M. Recreational Use of Erectile Dysfunction Medications in Undergraduate Me in the United Staes: Characteristics and Associated Risk Factors. Retrieve from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2909482/
- Lakin, M. MD and Wood, H MD. Erectile Dysfunction. Retrieved from http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/endocrinology/erectile-dysfunction/
- Mobley, D.F.,Khera, M.,& Baum, N. Recent Advances in the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. Retrieved from https://pmj.bmj.com/content/93/1105/679