Monday, 5 August 2019

The marketing value of sin

It is a well known saying that 'sex sells'; the use of sexualised imagery being common in marketing, its intent to attract consumer interest in a particular product or service. Yet we can also say today that ‘sin sells’. The promotion of and identification with that which is sinful, and its use in marketing is increasingly evident all around us. With the advent of every ‘Pride’ celebration the logos of numerous companies are emblazoned with the colours of the rainbow, identification with the LGBT cause being almost ubiquitous, and evidently seen as a necessary publicity tactic. Clearly sin sells in the case of homosexuality. In Northern Ireland the local connection with the Game of Thrones TV show is massively exploited for tourism purposes, with the Northern Ireland economy receiving an estimated £250 million from Game of Thrones since 2010, and 350,000 people a year visiting the province because of it. It is a sad commentary on the spiritual decline in Northern Ireland that the province is now best known and celebrated as the location of a programme notorious for excessive violence and gratuitous pornographic imagery, including graphic depictions of rape and incest. Once again we can say that sin sells. The same too may be said of other vices such drunkenness; rather than being the object of shame, they are celebrated, promoted and used as a means of generating money - because sin sells.