Victoria’s Secret is an iconic marketer famous for the manufacture and sale of provocative female lingerie. The name is synonymous with both quality and modern sexuality as presented in traditional modes of classic “femininity” and, seemingly against logical thinking, it is a clothing brand poised to take advantage of costly Super Bowl advertising time.
What actually induces men to buy is largely an unexplored field (Garst, Bodenhausen, 1997, p. 552); advertisers attempt to appeal to women, except in instances of traditionally masculine purchases, such as cars, because women typically spend the household money. Consequently, Super Bowl advertising is usually a scenario of marketing to perceived masculine desires. Cars, jeans, sports gear, and fast food items are the prevalent merchandise in this arena because men are known to purchase these things, or at least guide the buying power to them.
However, virtually all modern research indicates that sex remains a consistently effective advertising component (Reichert, Lambiase, Morgan, Carstarphen, & Zavoina, 1999, p. 9). Then, feminism is also served by the marketing of lingerie because the implication is that the modern woman is free to enjoy her sexuality (Rohlinger, 2002, p. 63), so the stigma of male dominance is removed from such advertising. By promoting Victoria’s Secret goods during so intently masculine an event, several purposes are accommodated. The men viewing are drawn in by the expressed sexuality, while a sense of obligation to the women in their lives, who permit the male gathering/bonding, is reinforced. Add to this the component of male bravado, or the need to display before other males, and a “big idea” is waiting to occur. That is to say, the Victoria’s Secret advertising during the Super Bowl should directly remind the male viewers that their spouses and girlfriends deserve the emphasized attention that the giving of sexy lingerie confers, for these women allow the men to enjoy their game. Perhaps most effectively, such advertising sets up an internal competition within the viewing arenas, be they homes or sports bars. Men compete all the time, and it is likely that men watching the game will wish to demonstrate their greater degrees of virility – as well as loyalty and affection to their wives and girlfriends – by deciding upon a Victoria’s Secret purchase in the presence of their peers.