Sex Does Not Sell: Effects of Sexual Advertising Parameters on Women Viewers’ Implicit and Explicit Recall of Ads and Brands
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionPerceptual and Motor Skills. 2021, 128 (2), 692-713. 10.1177/0031512521990352
This study investigated implicit and explicit memory effects of sexual and non-sexual advertisements embedded in either a sexual or non-sexual program among women viewers. We predicted that sexual appeals would facilitate implicit memory for the brand, and we explored whether program-type (sexual or non-sexual) and its associated congruity would impact or moderate recall of the surrounding advertisement among a small sample (n = 52) of exclusively women advertisement viewers. Sexual (versus non-sexual) advertising led to significantly worse implicit memory for the brand logo but better explicit recall for the advertisement scene itself. There was no effect of sexual appeals on explicit brand name recall, and no significant effect on advertisement recall of the program type. There was a significant interaction effect for program type and advertisement type for explicit recall of the advertisement scene, in which program-type moderated sexual advertisement recall. These results suggest that sexual advertising may increase memory for the advertisement at the expense of recalling the brand advertised. Limitations and implications of this study are discussed.