Sex Still Sells | Ep. #677

In episode #677, Eric and Neil discuss how sex is still used in marketing. Tune in to hear what they think about this method of advertising and whether you should be using it.


  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: Sex Still Sells
  • [00:40] The most popular people on the internet still use sex to sell.
  • [00:56] We’re still at a place in marketing, where sex sells.
  • [01:24] When you see Trump in the news all the time, it’s because he is generating reactions, which is kind of selling.
  • [01:35] Using sex is problematic, whether you are leveraging men’s or women’s sexuality.
  • [01:53] You’ll get a lot of haters, but you will also get a lot of conversions.
  • [02:00] There was a case study done by affiliate marketers where they posted a Facebook ad and the image was of a woman’s breasts. The click-through rate was extremely high, but it was also extremely distasteful.
  • [02:32] GoDaddy used Danica Patrick to sell their service.
  • [02:55] That was tasteful.
  • [03:05] Beats used the Kardashians, but in a way that wasn’t overtly sexual.
  • [03:30] Now is not the time to use overly aggressive sexual marketing, because of the current political and cultural climate.
  • [03:42] The world is evolving to become more inclusive and less exploitative.
  • [04:10] If you have to use sex to make your business work, your product or service may not be the best.
  • [04:55] If you search “International Women’s Day Ads” or “Most Empowering Ads for Women”, this will give you an idea of how sex can sell in a non-exploitative way.
  • [05:26] That’s all for today!
  • [05:30] Go to for a special marketing tool giveaway!

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The post Sex Still Sells | Ep. #677 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Announcer: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors, Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: Today, we're going to talk about how sex still sells. Neil?

Neil Patel: If you look at a lot of the people who are popular on the Internet, like the Tai Lopezes of the world. He's using tons of women in his videos. I'm not saying they're naked or anything like that, but he's using a ton of videos. The Dan Bilzerians, the Carl's Jr. commercials of all those girls-

Eric Siu: Your Instagram campaign.

Neil Patel: My Instagram campaign. I'm not saying it's a good thing. But the sad reality is we're still in a place in marketing where sex sells. Now, I'm not saying you should end up using it, but, the sad truth is, sex still sells in marketing.

Eric Siu: It gets attention. Think about it. I think you had this one ad on your site and the marketing community exploded. Forget the reaction. But the fact that you got a reaction means it still sells because it gets attention, right? Even if you look ... We're not politicians. Neither of us care about politics. But you see Trump in the news all the time, right? It's because he's generating reactions all the time. That in itself is, well, it's kind of selling.

Neil Patel: Yeah. There's a lot of problems with leveraging sex both on the male and female side. It's not just people are using sex with pictures of women, they're also doing that with men as well. Maybe not as often, but they still do. In general, people look at that stuff, it draws the attention from the eye, and people start clicking on that stuff and they convert so well. You'll get a lot of haters, but the conversions and the revenue dollars go through the roof.

Eric Siu: Yeah. I think you have to do it ... Try to think about how you can do it in a tasteful way. I actually remember there's a case study done by affiliate marketers years ago, how when they put up a Facebook ad, and it was just a woman's breast, for example, the click-through rate was extremely high, right? Sex, yes, it still sells, but that's very distasteful. You don't want to do it in that way. You have to think about how you can do it in maybe it's a classy way, right? Maybe it's not overly portraying a woman or a man in a, I don't know, a really aggressive way, where you're going to generate a ton of negative backlash. I'm trying to think of an example right now. Do you have any in your head?

Neil Patel: No. GoDaddy Dana-

Eric Siu: Danica Patrick.

Neil Patel: Yeah. I think some of their commercials, not all, were done tasteful, where she was just driving a car and just being like, “Check out GoDaddy.” She was really popular.

Eric Siu: That's a good one. It's showing her in her element. She's not being portrayed as this just sex icon. It's just that it's this woman that's very popular, that's good at what she does, and it's just related to GoDaddy. That's it. That's a tasteful way of doing it.

Neil Patel: Yeah. Beats by Dre also did it because they would have celebrities like the Kardashians, who in some cases are looked at as sex symbols as well. They did it where they were just wearing the headphones, they were fully clothed, they weren't doing anything crazy, and it was just them listening to music.

Eric Siu: Yeah. You can't be too overly aggressive about this sex stuff nowadays because there's a lot of this stuff going on in Hollywood, where-

Neil Patel: What is it called? The Me Too movement?

Eric Siu: The Me Too movement, all this. The first TED talk that I saw when I was at TED was literally about the Me Too Movement and about gender equality and all that kind of stuff. You're going to get torn apart right now if you're overly aggressive and you put something up that's distasteful. That's just some warning.

Neil Patel: Yeah. In our reality, the world is evolving and I think in a good place, in which, hopefully in the future, there's going to be more equality not just on the gender, but also on race as well. You're also going to start seeing women come out more in the marketplace. They're going to hold more powerful positions, and in many cases, they're going to get paid more than men. They should because a lot of them are ... There's so much talent out there, right? Like Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook, she's amazing at what she does. But, in general, the world is coming to a better place.
If you have to resort to sex to make your business work, you probably don't have a good product or a service. We're not saying you should use sex or you shouldn't use sex. We're just telling you the facts that sex still sells. But, if you fast forward years from now, hopefully, things will change and people will start focusing on solving problems, benefits. Because if you look at the majority of the largest companies in the world, they're not using sex to sell. Yes, it makes you money, but solving problems and helping people out is still a much better way to market your business and generate revenue.

Eric Siu: That's basically it. You solve problems for people, that's how you generate revenue. That's how you start a business in the first place. Never mind all the politics stuff. What I recommended that you take a look at, and this actually has to do with politics, but, if you search top international women's day ads or the top 10 most empowering ads for women, those two titles are more related to politics and equality. But I recommend taking a look at the ads themselves and getting some examples of how sex sells in a non-aggressive, non-distasteful way. To Neil's point, I think in a couple of years, things will be equalized. We're not going to have to worry about or talk about this stuff anymore, and we're just going to be worried about solving problems and doing good marketing.

Neil Patel: I wish it will be a couple of years, but I doubt it. I think it's going to take a long-

Eric Siu: Probably a couple of more years than that.

Neil Patel: Yeah. Maybe like five, 10, yeah.

Eric Siu: Anyway, that's it for today. Hope you enjoyed it. But, go to if you want to check out our marketing tools to grow your business.

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