Sex, Ads and Youth

The effect of sexual imagery on brand bonding in adolescents

Lenka Šilerová
Tambor, Czech Republic


The main objective of this paper is not to clarify how sexuality in ads works, because it is extremely culture specific, but to provide inspiration for work in researching areas involved with love relationships, erotic or sexuality, whether looking for insights for individual product categories, testing of new ads, usage and attitude studies, etc.1)


In modern and post-modern times human sexuality creates an inseparable part of public and media life. Sexual contents are available nearly everywhere, but very often they are not understood properly and create unrealistic expectations or support non-suitable forms of sexual behaviour. The Czech Republic is a post-communistic country, the “velvet revolution” having occurred in 1989, and therefore has experienced 15 years of freedom without significant censorship. After the fall of socialism and censorship there was boom of “sexuality” in media and advertisement. Parents of today's teenagers grew up in time of censorship where any significant reference to sexuality was prohibited. However in the past years parents must nurture their children in different conditions, in a changed situation with many sexual and erotic contents in everyday life. Therefore this generation of youth has specific circumstances that influenced its attitudes towards sexual motives. They are surrounded by many sexual contents but have parents with a different experience. This resulted in specific attitudes to sexual and erotic symbols in this generation. And, of course, there are many reasons why young people can have specific perceptions of sexual and erotic motives (see later). But these more psychological reasons are not specific to post-communistic countries.