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The Pitch Episode 38: Sex Sells, Or Does It?


The bigger question is do we really need to go there? Learn how to get the upper hand on a “sex sells” strategy that you don’t want to move forward.

The Pitch Episode 38:
Sex Sells, Or Does It?


You’ve probably heard the saying that “sex sells” when it comes to certain pitches, but what does this mean in today’s climate and do we need to change our view on this theory? The bigger question I would always ask no matter the social climate, is do we really need to go there? Most of the time the objective answer is no. Using sexual innuendos in your pitch can be a recipe for disaster and super risky. You may think you know one audience well, but when you use something as strong as sex to sell you are likely going to offend another audience or the person you are pitching. Before you pitch, ask yourself: Can you be effective with your message minus the sex? If the answer is yes, develop three alternate pitches and begin to work from those to see which one pulls a bigger response. “The Pitch” challenge today: next time you’re out with a group of friends, survey them about what really motivates them to make a purchase. Ask them about a sexy ad that’s currently trending and be sure to ask both men and women their reaction to it and whether or not the sexual innuendo prompted them to purchase the product. This informal but real-life research can give you the upper hand the next time you are in a pitch meeting and one of your colleagues is pushing a “sex sells” strategy that you are having a hard time getting on board with and would prefer not to move forward.


What ad or pitch has turned you off because of an overt sex angle?
2) How could this pitch or ad been presented without the sex angle and still be effective?
3) Why do you think people rely on a “sex sells” approach versus focusing on the true benefits of the product or service?

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