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Decoding the power of women in selling dreams

India Today logo India Today 17-07-2017
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The power and drive of owning an A-class car can only be more gratifying than the power and drive of possessing an A-class woman. At least that's what modern day advertising would lead us to believe - the launch of every second vehicle is accompanied by s**ily dressed women seated on the bonnets with their toned pins on display. Last week Malaika Arora was one of the ladies behind the launch of a major car brand, where she was certainly the object of much attention. She wore a black dress by Lebanese designer Rayane Bacha, with lace trimmings on the torso and the skirt.

In the past, actresses like Priyanka Chopra, Jacqueline Fernandez and Katrina Kaif have attended car launches looking equally dolled-up for a night out while they stood near the extravagantly-priced vehicles. Meanwhile, international car ads often shown women in everything from a pillow fight with half their clothes on to nothing more than lingerie to seduce potential buyers. What the connection is between a car and a hot woman is not exactly obvious, but it is evident that it appears to be a big hit. No wonder, then, that every major player from Audi to BMW, Volkswagen, Tata Motors and Nissan have turned to pretty models and actresses to get the message across.

Magda Kay at Psychologyformarketers. com explains, "Cars have been associated with s** for better sales for many years now. It is one of the products that easily link to erotic messages. Producers want their cars to be perceived as s**y, fast, daring, and so most of the advertising using s**, will work perfectly for cars."

In case you're wondering why it ticks, the answer lies in your brain - more specifically, in what's known as the 'old' or the 'lizard brain'. This reptilian part of the brain developed over 100 million years ago and its chief goal is to ensure survival, and among other things, s**ual behaviour. In an article called 'Triggers of the Reptilian Brain', Alex from Feedtherightwolf.org explains, "The reptilian brain is motivated by visual images, sounds, touch, smell, and taste. The visual stimulation is the strongest, since we process about 80 per cent of our daily informational intake through our eyes."

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What that really means is that when a product is linked with anything s**ual, advertisers target the instinctive part of the mind to convey it as a desirable product. However, with the rulebook of censorship around, the game becomes to push the limit and keep it as risque without getting caught.

That is why when an attractive lady poses with a car - or a deodorant or even a glass of mango juice - the overly s**ualised image with the fitted dresses, deep necks and pouty lips plays an important role in the overall message.

The trick isn't new at all, though - over a century ago, Pearl Tobacco placed the painting of a naked woman on the cover of the cigarillo boxes in 1871. Needless to say, there has been no looking back ever since. In fact, just last month Scottish football club Ayr United decided to launch their away kit with the shoot of a model wearing the yellow and white jersey painted onto her body. The sponsor's founder Calvin Ayre has said, "We hope the pictures will give The Honest Men the boost they need for promotion and a good Cup run too. 'Mon Ayr!'"

True, this is just the boost they would need to win. After all, who needs training, talent or even a half-thinking mind when you've got other assets on display?

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