If I were to ask you what the world’s oldest professions are, what would you say? Would prostitution cross your mind? If so, great! Because that means you probably know that human lust is an unerasable vice.

Sex sells. Always has, always will.

Lust is a strong sexual desire. Sex sells because humans are sexual creatures. Most living things partake in coitus for procreation, humans do it for pleasure too and pleasure is a very hard thing to resist.

light couple people woman

The earliest recorded mention of prostitution as an occupation is from 2400 BCE. That’s more than 4,000 years ago. If there’s anything that can tell us, it is that lust is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Businesses profiting from lust

There’s plenty of businesses that profit from the use of lust either directly as a product or indirectly as an advertising tool. In order to keep this rather concise, I shall simply list them down and let you explore how lust fits into them.

  1. Prosititution (obviously).
  2. Strip clubs & clubs in general (that’s why skimpier dressing = better in clubs).
  3. Sales (all other factors kept constant, better looking salespeople = more sales).
  4. Porn & Erotic content (books, magazines, videos, etc.)
  5. Lingerie & Erotic fashion
  6. Any other business that integrates lust into their business plan.

Now that you can see plenty of parallels of lust in our world, it’s time to figure out just how you can start using lust. In this instance, we’ll be talking about it in the context of marketing. You can figure out ways to integrate it into all steps of the business pipeline, from live in-person support to sales.

We already know that lust can be a powerful instrument to influence human behaviour but how can you use it?

Marketing a business using lust

To market a business using lust as a pillar, you need to do the following:

1. Understand your audience

What gender are you marketing to? For example: if you are primarily marketing to young male adults, it would make sense to get “sexy” women in your ad campaign. Axe, knows this too well. By positioning their product as something that will get you more chics, they appeal to their target demographic, young men. After all, if you are going to be spraying some cologne, getting women because of how good you smell would certainly be the icing on the cake.

Here’s the Axe ad.

2. Figure out what your audience likes

I’ll be using our previous point for reference. Take Axe as an example. They know that their target audience, typically young males love chics. With their testosterone flaring up and a world of possibilities open to them, it is easy to see why. That’s why they made an ad that appeals to what they know appeals to their primary audience.

3. Have good looking characters be seen attracted to or using your product

If you are building a product/service for straight women, you would get good looking men to be your muses. It’s not enough to just have them be seen though, you should sexualize their existence to appeal to the lustful nature of our kind. Create a fantasy in your audience and let them live it through your ad with the characters they would love.

One key problem that you might encounter while trying to sexualize your content is regulation. To get around this, you can provide an unexpected plot switch that turns a blatant display of lustful desire into a joke. The twist can be seemingly innocent and unexpected BUT lustful minds can and will relate to it. Coca-Cola has pulled off similar ads several times. By combining humour with sexual fantasy, we can ease the sexual tension between our audience and our brand.

Here’s one of the Coke ads.

The genius in this is that the ad also shows that Coca-Cola is for everyone while sexualizing it AND using good looking people. Sheesh!

I’d probably get demonetized if I was monetizing this blog. Thankfully, I am not. Here’s another ad by Coca-Cola using lust to market Sprite. It is age-restricted, so embedding it here won’t work.

So, if you’re convinced, how do you find good looking people? Instagram would be a great place to start. Go on your explore page and start from there. Alternatively, search for photographers in your area, chances are they have already done the hard work of sourcing good looking people.

What even counts as good looking?

As it turns out, there are objective measures of beauty. The proportions of a person’s face as well as their physical proportions can easily tell you who is objectively better looking than the other. Here are two images for you to compare. I have used cartoons here for reference since they tend to exaggerate things to elicit various emotions (also so as to not offend anyone by using their image for this context). If a cartoon wants you to know someone is ugly, they will let you know. The same goes for the opposite. Who is better looking? Try and figure out why. The science of beauty is a long topic that we shall perhaps delve into on a separate occasion. Let me know if that is something you would be interested in.

Drag the slider to compare. Who looks better? Why do you think so? Image copyrights belong to The Walt Disney Company.

It’s NOT about calling other people ugly either. It is a well-known fact that people buy more when they are sold to by people that look good or have influence. Most of us want to look good or have influence/wealth. Since we are a mimetic species, this means that we end up imitating those who have what we want. That feeds into our greed as well as our lust and desire to appear as desirable individuals.

Conclusion

We all lust at some point in our lives. It is ingrained in our nature. Just like the other cardinal vices, instead of fighting who we are, we can embrace it and we can profit from it.

Always bet on human nature

Me & Possibly someone else I don’t yet know

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