Does sex sell? Or is it a marketing myth?

Does sex sell? Or is it a marketing myth?

Humour whets consumers’ purchasing appetite more than sexy advertising, according to a new study which also found that online ads are still viewed as “invasive”.

Australians may be spending more and more time online but consumers are still not wholly comfortable with online advertising, according to an Adobe and Edelman Berland study.

One-third of consumers still prefer print advertising and 31% would rather see an ad on TV, the Marketing Myth Busters research said.

Online ads are still viewed as “annoying, distracting and invasive”, Adobe’s Australian and New Zealand managing director Paul Robson said.

To turn things around marketers need to more effectively use the data they gather: “In doing so you can gather and analyse more finite data to get accurate return on investment, as well as creating an ideal scenario, where advertising actually becomes relevant information.”

The Adobe study comes the day after a university report found online TV viewers are open to online ads as long as they are limited to three minutes per hour.

The old adage ‘sex sells’ has been challenged by the study which found that consumers believe funny advertising content is more effective than the sexy and raunchy.

Marketing has more of an effect on purchasing decisions amongst women than men but 95% of Australians said advertising does have an impact on them.

Peer-to-peer product recommendations has the greatest impact on product consideration according to 69% of ‘Myth Buster’s’ respondents.

While Australians are comfortable with customized products and services they are not willing to sacrifice their privacy in order to receive them.

“The explosion of mobile devices means people are connected all the time, and wherever they are. It also means people are likely to share more about themselves through public forums and social media than ever before,” Robson said. “The question people need to consider is how much information they are comfortable sharing publicly in order to receive products and services that are more relevant to their needs.”

‘Marketing Myth Busters’ included a seven-week online assessment comprising both qualitative and quantitative data from 1,000 local consumers aged 18 years and over as well as 250 senior marketers.

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