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Sex in the Holidays

Posted At: November 25, 2013 2:20 p.m.
by Benjamin Ladrillono

Sex. In the world of advertising, it is everywhere. From every single Victoria Secret ad (Does it really target women?) to the recent Hardee’s commercial featuring Katherine Webb, sexy commercials flood our televisions. And for the most part, we’re fine with it. As the modern-day saying goes, “Sex sells.”

But the question remains, is there a time of the year when these kinds of commercials should disappear? Should companies stop having sexy ads during the winter holidays? Does showing sexy commercials during this “time for the family” end up hurting a company’s relationship with its consumers?

Case in point: K-Mart’s recent commercial, “Show Your Joe.”

K-Mart was one of the first companies to launch a holiday commercial, and it was rather naughty. Yes, it is more toned down than some other commercials we see, but what makes this commercial so controversial is that it is a commercial for the holidays.

People see the holidays as a time for family. We associate the winter holidays with children opening a gifts and gathering with relatives in front of the fireplace. So did K-Mart push its risqué commercials to a new level simply by doing so during the holidays? If you were someone looking for holiday presents, will you go to the store that uses sexual appeal during the holidays?

According to a New York Daily article, some consumers are complaining. One stated that her 14-year-old daughter saw the video. She commented on the K-Mart Facebook page, “Very disrespectful to your overall audiences, sad what you do for a sale or publicity. You lost my sales this year.” Will the risqué commercial harm K-Mart’s holiday sales and burn some bridges with current and new consumers?

Maybe the real question is, does sex really sell during the holidays?

Personally, I believe that American society views the holidays as sacred ground. We expect heart warming or punny Christmas commercials. We’re not ready for sex in the holidays. So K-Mart, if you want your consumers to shop at your store for their Christmas presents, let’s stay nice in the commercials and avoid the naughty ones.

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