Erotic appeals in advertising: visual attention and perceived appropriateness



erotic appeals, advertising, eye-tracking, interviews, appropriateness, visual attention


Erotic appeals in advertising are sometimes considered unethical or provocative. This study addresses how consumers perceive advertisements with erotic appeals regarding eye movement and subjective appropriateness. This study is methodologically based on eye-tracking to capture the participants’ visual attention and semi-structured interviews to obtain further in-depth information on the perceived appropriateness of erotic appeal in a particular advertisement from the respondent’s perspective. The results show a difference in how consumers look at advertising according to their perceived appropriateness of an erotic appeal and indicate the importance of a suitably chosen protagonist concerning the target group. Concerning the chosen protagonist, marketers must pay attention to the strength and congruence of the erotic appeal.