Sex and IT 101

Sex sells. We all know that saying and there is quite some truth to that. I am not referring to the billions-of-dollars erotica market, but actually even in the normal it, no matter if you are working on corporate projects or small business websites; sex sells.

Every single client I work with now and have worked with, ranging from the Rutgers University and the NJ department of education to Field & Stream, I always ended up working with them because of actually an erotic website I have made in the past. I am originally Dutch, so you can blame it on my liberate surroundings of the Netherlands in my upbringing that I have absolutely no shame in admitting that. Actually, if I had not built that site in the past, I would not have the projects, the salary and the clients I have now, who are all very respectable and normal clients.

Besides being an IT-er I am also a photographer and together with my wife we like to use our photo studio to also shoot model photography (you can visit our photo studio site at www.cantanopy.com ) and yes, from time to time we also shoot more revealing model photos.

Everyone who has studied art or any kind of art course knows this for a fact, a person’s attention is always attracted by beauty, and mostly female beauty. We can all deny this, but this is simply a given fact, so don’t shoot the messenger. In my days as an IT consultant with one of the largest consultancy firms in Europe, I was confronted a lot of times with the dreaded …. rapapapapah…. Powerpoint presentations. The horrible clip-art, the waste of time in nightmarish bullet lists and 80+ slide presentations.

So, at one moment, I decided to create a corporate presentation, and in every second slide there was a photo of a stunningly beautiful woman, but one that matched the content of the slide. Of course, when I delivered the presentation to the presenter, who actually had to present it also to the government, it was of course a risk, but I really had a good feeling about it. And after that I wished I did not put those photos in, because I was booked for months for making those presentations. We’ve received many projects through it.

The concept is simple, you need to keep the viewers attention, and if the story is too boring, and there is nothing interesting to see, it is game over. The mind wanders, and people forget what they hear. Wasted time. But if you show something that you know will grasp the attention, at least they pick something up. And with doing it in only every second slide, you also create 50% full attention for the information.

True, you do not put a woman in bikini or even wearing less, or nothing, in a corporate presentation, because than the attention is still not on your presentation. But the right amount of sexiness is essential!

So at one moment I produced this erotic website, which was more than a photo website, but I used it to try out a whole different kind of website. And by accident I had to present that site when I just was working in the US in 2005. And I know in the US everything is a little less liberal, a little bit more prude, so that was not comfortable.  But it attracted so much more attention, that people were much more interested in what I had to say, and I was the one that kept lingering in the people’s mind. Which is of course the right way to do it.

In commercial marketing, sex is being used as a tool for so long, but you actually never see it happen in IT. Because IT is simply not sexy? Could be, but so many things are not, why not spice things a little bit up. Do not overdo it, do not take ‘sex’ literally, but make it sexy. Just enough to be memorable, not too much to be perverse.

Believe me, it works.

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