You know those ads for products like lawn mowers and power drills featuring a shapely lass in a bikini? Have you ever wondered what the bikini has to do with the product?
No, of course not. Stupid question.
Actually there is a reason. A good psychological reason. It’s the advertising equivalent of “Neener, made you look.”
And then the bikini babe turns your brain to mush and you are helpless to resist the sales message.
Think I’m kidding? Read on!
Say hello to your reptile brain
“Reptile brain” isn’t some nickname you hurl at your siblings. It refers to the limbic brain, the most primitive area of the human brain that prompts our most basic behaviors—one of which happens to be procreation.
The limbic region is Mother Nature’s way of hardwiring the male brain to mate with any healthy female to ensure the survival of the species.
Therefore, when the average male sees an attractive female of child bearing age wearing a bikini, his limbic brain lights up like an arcade game and he has only one thing on his mind…and it ain’t doing the laundry.
A simple formula for turning male brains into mush
Undoubtedly you’ve read “Bikinis Instigate Generalized Impatience in Intertemporal Choice” in the September 10, 2007 issue of Journal of Consumer Research.
On the off-chance you haven’t, here is a brief summary of their findings.
One of the purposes of the study was to discover if bikini-wearing women affect sales. (To relieve tension early, the answer is yes.)
One of the most amazing findings was discovering that opportunities to have sex actually lead to an increased motivation and desire in men to have sex! (Yes, I’m being sarcastic.)
While males are in this excited stage:
- Their desire for instant gratification increases; they’d rather accept a smaller reward now than a larger reward later.
- They have an enhanced urgency to consume anything rewarding: candy bars, soft drinks, beer, Porsches, etc.
- They are more inclined to make poor decisions including a greater likelihood to engage in risky sexual activities and, more importantly here, a heightened likelihood they might purchase products they would not otherwise buy.
What’s to happen to these poor souls?
Stay tuned for Part II.
Image: Robert Bejil
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County CA marketing communications firm. He invites you to email Jeffrey Swartz at email@example.com to see if we use bikini babes to sell our services.