Monkey ad study shows sex sells

The elaborate study saw ten macaques painstakingly trained to tap a screen in return for fruit juice

An unconventional scientific experiment designed to establish the origins of effectiveness of sex and status in advertising has found that monkeys are naturally attracted to sexualised ads.

Researchers at Stanford University in California recruited a female macaque with which to lure unsuspecting males into appreciating brands such as Pizza Hut, Adidas and Nike, with monkeys naturally gravitating whichever brand was transposed with an exposed monkey rear as opposed to a generic patch of fur.

In an extension of the experiment researchers discovered that random brands associated with the alpha male of their troupe also benefited from monkey stardust, with animals gravitating toward products most clearly associated with their leader.

The elaborate study saw ten macaques painstakingly trained to tap a screen in return for fruit juice with each test subject presented with two pictures; one of a well-known brand and the other of either a subordinate monkey, an alpha male, a female or a neutral picture as a control.

The researchers wrote: “Depictions of sex and social status in advertising continue to help marketers sell their products. Yet, the origins of the effectiveness of sex and status in advertising remain a puzzle.”

In addition to sharing a love for sex macaques also secured the right to any photographs they've taken following a landmark court case.

Advertisers thinking of employing monkeys in risque poses to sell more sports wear of fast food should think carefully before they do so however, a previous study by the University of Illinois found that while sexual imagery made adverts more memorable there was no correlation with increased sales.

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