Previously we explained how the reptile brain turns male brains to mush at the sight of a bikini babe and makes them hapless victims of advertising.
Here we investigate how this happens and what, if anything, you can do to thwart evil ad persons.
Face it: you’re just a caveman in an Armani suit
In the wild, make animals compete for females by displaying peacock feathers, performing ritual mating dances, producing bullfrog croaks and other interesting behaviors.
Since human males have none of these resources, they attract women with power toys: expensive cars, expensive clothes, expensive getaways.
What do these items have in common? Exactly! They are products you can buy to enhance your sex appeal.
Here, then, is how the ad works its insidious manipulation.
- A young man sees the beautiful bikinied woman.
- His limbic urges him to attract her for procreation.
- The bikini babe exploits his limbic urge by intimating the product she’s selling will make him more attractive than lesser males.
- The male brain turns to silly putty and becomes highly suggestible.
- He buys her products to increase his mating opportunities.
The limits of bikini power
Even superheroes have their weaknesses and, alas, so it is with bikinis. Like some Einsteinian nightmare, the enemy of bikini power is time.
When young men see bikini babes, they want the woman (and, theoretically, her product) now. Ten minutes later is too late.
Because of this time dilution, bikini babes in print ads and TV ads are not the most effective use of their allure.
Instead, the best way to take advantage of male mush brains is to feature bikini babes on point-of-purchase displays, posters and packaging so men can impulsively purchase these products immediately.
But wait! Before you place a bikini babe in your ad…
The report cited in Part I—“Bikinis Instigate Generalized Impatience in Intertemporal Choice” in the September 10, 2007 issue of Journal of Consumer Research—cautions that the experiments they detail were performed on young men and don’t necessarily represent the male population as a whole. In short, the effect of sexy bikini lasses on 70-year-old men is unknown (though we can surely guess).
Also, for some strange reason, most women are strangely immune to bikini babes in ads. (Other than to ask, “Harold, does that bikini make her look fat?”)
Finally, be advised that bikini power is effective only with sexually appropriate products like clothes, cologne, cars, beer, men’s magazine subscriptions and product calendars hanging in garages everywhere.
Using sex to sell inappropriate products such as mainframes, CRM software, bookshelves and such often provokes outrage because it’s so blatantly manipulative. (It’s OK to manipulate us, just don’t be obvious about it.)
All this so far has been strictly theoretical. It is time for a real life experiment.
Stare at the photo of the bikini lass above. Are you staring? Good. Now quick, email Daly-Swartz Public Relations (firstname.lastname@example.org). Demand we take you on as a client.
Image: Patrick Colgan
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County CA marketing communications firm.