Following on from our last blog about how sex is an unconscious driver, we wanted to explore gender differences. From a marketing point of view, it would be logical to think that sexual advertising is only relevant to men… However, a new study shows that women aren’t as immune to sexual advertising as we originally thought. But not in the way that you might think… This research focused on the sense of touch rather than sight.
Previous studies have found that with men, visual sexual cues promote reward-seeking behaviour and makes them more impulsive and impatient. But when tested on women, results have never been conclusive.
However, this new research tried a different tactic… instead of presenting the women with images of scantily-clad studs, they were presented with a pair of men’s boxer shorts to touch. It was found that this tactile feedback made women crave monetary rewards, as well as making them less loss averse to both money and food (this means they were less concerned about losing out on extra rewards).
In the shopping environment, this has got the potential to convert female shoppers into irrational reward-seekers who are less concerned about saving money.
Whilst it is not immediately obvious about how this could be best used, the implications of influencing women to crave rewards whilst shopping is a powerful tool.