MARKETING MIX: Global pulse - Sex still sells

Society and marketers seem to forget that older people enjoy sex and want to feel desirable - a mental block no doubt rooted in everyone's difficulty with imagining their own parents in bed. However, handled delicately, sex can be a powerful connection strategy for targeting the over-50s.

Today's 50- and 60-something women are the original feminist generation, having been there during the women's movements of the 60s and 70s. They react strongly when women are demeaned or disrespected, and disapprove of overtly sexualised images of women being used to sell product, as in this NTL ad.

However, if the sex is done more subtly it can be a remarkably successful connection strategy for older women. This Taittinger ad proved massively popular with the over-50s, who responded positively to the suggestive imagery, which was perceived as 'sensual and classy'.

Another way to play sex is to suggest tenderness and deep passion. This Burberry ad drew coos of delight from 50-plus women. Though past their child-bearing years, they still identified strongly with the powerful sense of partnership and love conveyed here, and with being mothers.

Information supplied by ENGAGE from HeadlightVision.

For further information call 020 7229 7500 or e-mail crawford@headlightvision.com.

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