A new study by Robert Lull and Brad Bushman shows that adding sex and violence to commercials or advertising in shows with that type of content never helps and sometimes actually reduces the effectiveness of the advertising. Despite decades of conventional wisdom that adding sexual content would help to drive purchase decisions, the report concludes that consumers view brands less favorably when they use this type of content. The results of the research have been reported by business media including Bloomberg and Inc Magazine.
This research confirms what most Christians should already know. God’s way is always better than the world’s way. God designed the world. We broke it, but God was kind enough to give us clear commands on how to live in a broken world. He knows the optimal way for humans to flourish. Following His commands will always lead to better results than ignoring them. There may be short-term situations where that doesn’t feel true, but we always learn later on that it is.
Christians often talk about the pressure to conform to the world. However, we should always resist that pressure. It will never produce better outcomes. In this case, any Christian in business who decided to conform to the world and add sexual content to advertising was at best adding no value and at worst actually harming the results for the company. Think about that. You sacrifice your values to gain a little favor at work only to find out that applying a Biblical worldview to your job would have produced better outcomes for your company. Following God and refusing to exploit women (some advertising sexually exploits men but it’s mostly women) would have improved the advertising results for your product or service.
While the lies of the culture can blind for a time, the light of the truth of God’s commands will always win out in the end. The next time you’re faced with an ethical dilemma about whether to exploit women to accomplish a business goal, dig deeper into the issue and show your colleagues how treating everyone as made in the image of God will improve results for your business. What an amazing witness that will be!