SEX WON'T SELL YOUR GENRE MOVIE
Independent film makers hear this over and over again. "Kid! If you wanna sell your Horror Thriller movie you need stars!"
When some so-called experts tells you this, get a fixed price from them. Get it on paper. Find out how much they will pay you for every one of their expert opinions you put in your movie.
There was a sex scene in James Cameron's THE TERMINATOR. Sure. It needed to be there. The sex scene was a pivotal plot point.
It made sense to the story. But who is fool enough to think that was the reason it succeeded?
Most movies don't need it. Most movies don't need sex in the same way that most movies don't need to show someone chewing their food.
Sure, there are lots of movies that show people sitting DOWN to a meal and talking.
They don't eat, they talk. But how many movies show people actually just sitting there sipping their drink and munching their salad, cutting their food and forking their potatoes and chewing and swallowing, and chewing and swallowing? The story is in the dinner conversation, not in the observation of watching people do what we already do ourselves. Eating a good meal is still wonderful to us, but it's not special to watch. Even restaurant chains know this. Their advertisements are all about what a good time people have when they go to restaurant "X", not them sitting there masticating like a table of cud chewing bovines.
The late COmic, George Carlin, was inconsistent in his upbraiding of America, where he would call us all to task for being puritanical about seeing sex in the movies, when we had no problem with violence. It was a good point for its time.
Then he'd do a separate joke where he pointed out how much sex sells products in America. Well wait a minute. Are we puritanical or not?
Carlin was of a much older generation: A generation where the majority of people didn't have sex until marriage, just before marriage, or with a prostitute. And fewer still had satisfying sex due to oddball religious mores. Carlin lived to see his 7 Words You Can't Say On Television get whittled down to three. He died with his humor out of touch and out of sync. That was his generation.
But it isn't ours. Sex doesn't sell our stuff anymore, unless they're actually selling sexy stuff: body wash, sexy clothes, cologne, things we want when we want to fuck.
Budweiser doesn't use the promise of sex to sell their beer anymore, they use Clydesdales, and have for some time. Jack Daniels has been using two old backwoods farts to sell their whiskey since the 1970s, and it's the hottest selling brand of whiskey in the U.S. For the last 15 years Absolute vodka has been using pop art instead of pop tarts.
Everyone else seems to use humor. You'll go farther with a clown or monkey to sell your stuff than some runway model.
American car companies used to use sex, but that was a very long time ago. Now they use special effects to sell a car.
They used to build cars to look sexy. Now they ape successful Japanese and Italian car companies and build them to look like children's toys. And the ones that most look like a shiny toy are the ones that sell the best. The more expensive and powerful they are, the more they look like some Transformer insect scooting down the road. Panteras and Lamborghinis are not big cars. Not like Lincolns, Escalades, and Cadillacs. High powered Japanese cars like Hondas and Toyotas are smaller and more compact still.
Gone is the day of the massively long car as a penis substitute. Since the 1970s even the muscle cars got smaller and sportier. In the 1980s representatives of NOW would claim that small sporty fast cars were a penis substitute. The hell? If I wanted a penis substitute, why would I drive a little Toyota Celica?
The big car was never a penis substitute, despite the popular misguided meme that said otherwise. The point of having the big car was being able to say: "Hey, my car is so damn big there's enough room in the backseat for us to screw our brains out!" but that was the era of the 1950s "shoebox" cars through 70s "cigarbox" cars and the "refrigerator box" Chevy van (despite the song, the best selling was the Dodge van. Hippies preferred Der Fuehrer's van). And for the majority of guys who bought those vehicles, and tricked out their vans, it was a lot of wishful thinking. Today a big car or SUV says, "I have enough room for my kids and two weeks worth of groceries!"
The majority of people driving SUVs these days are women. And the commercials for these vehicles largely play to women and families. The meme about such vehicles being a de facto statement about the size of a man's penis was a phallic fallacy. A misguided meme by (possibly) sexually repressed "experts".
These ads represent the late 60s early 70s style of advertising. You'll notice that the coolest thing in the photos is the car itself. Everything else around it is kind of bland, especially the blonde wife.
Which is what you'd want to show if you were selling this car. Your house is just a bland little white house. Your wife is just a bland little domestic hausfrau. But if you've got a bright red Chevelle SS in front of it all, by GOD man, are you ever freaking COOL!
Oh the Freedom!
To fill a magazine ad with as much car as possible, you've got to angle it to get the whole thing in there. So of course, car companies started designing cars that looked as cool as possible at an angle.
It's not phallic, it's practical
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