Free Sex and Chocolate!

According to some survey (I’ve lost the reference) sex, free and chocolate are the three words most likely to catch the eye, so advertisers everywhere should be working them into their copy. Of course, sex-free chocolate is somehow off putting, so you need to cheat and switch the order a little to create that perfect headline: free sex and chocolate.

And it works. I took two series of 100,000 text ads. The first references recent blogs like this…

Sex & the City meets…

Mad Mullah Murders… Britney’s Onyx Hotel… Barcelona’s 11-M…

The second’s like this…

Free Sex and Chocolate!

Mad Mullah Murders… Britney’s Onyx Hotel… Barcelona’s 11-M…

Thirty-six in every thousand people click ‘Free Sex and Chocolate’, while ‘Sex & the city meets…’ manages just fourteen per thousand (even though the s-word is still in there). Ultimately though, this has to be a naïve piece of marketing because as soon as people realise there are no free pics of naked people smeared with chocolate, they go elsewhere.

It seems obvious that these three words should come out top, but maybe there’s more to it than meets the eye. Maybe sex, free and chocolate are so potent because they point to both heaven and hell – symbols of guilty indulgence and corrupted morals as well as pleasure, something for nothing and luxury.

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