King, McClelland, and Furnham (2015) conducted a study addressing a similar topic which in fact, questions whether 'sex sells' and it's effectiveness in viewer recall. In the context of Petty and Cacioppo's (1986) Elaboration Likelihood Model, the message was well retained by the target audience of 18-52 through testing free recall, prompted recall, and brand recognition. This a result of sexual appeal or visual motivation causing a shallow and short lived, yet immediate influencing change.
As evidently put in Figure 1, the results clearly shoe a higher measure of recall of the brand itself, and the nature of the imagery freely and when prompted when a sexual advertisement is contrasted after following a non-sexual programme. This evidently shows us how that in spite of standard deviations weakening the effect, the conducted Repeated Measures ANOVAs reveal that sexual advertisements did significantly influence peoples short term recall, of not just the imagery, but the branding/ message being intentionally advertised. This is the understandable effect we can see Jack Will's aspired to achieve.
However, in spite of a potential peripheral effect, this campaign overlooks the over side of the Elaboration Likelihood Model in which those that are motivated to perceive the advertisement critically. As sexual imagery is a topic of controversy, being perceived as inappropriate to specific audiences, it has a boundary in which, if crossed, becomes too visibly inappropriate and taboo, and becomes more of a sexual statement rather than a tool for expressing the appeal of the message/ products at hand. The advert was evidently over the line, as put by the APA, and the marketing was commented on as unnecessary. Evidently, sex is something to use with caution in persuasion.
King, J., McClelland, A., & Furnham, A. (2015). Sex really does sell: The recall of sexual and non‐sexual television advertisements in sexual and non‐sexual programmes. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 29(2), 210-216.
Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1986). The elaboration likelihood model of persuasion. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (vol. 19, pp. 123-205). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.