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I am always amazed at people boiling down booth bait, CarDoll, etc. to "sex sells, stupid".  Instead of that quick and shallow answer, let's think a minute or two.  About where we work.  And who we work with.

When women started working at dealerships in capacities other than the receptionist, how long do you think the nudie calendars stayed up?  A while.  And then one day it stopped.

To the public, sex sells products every day.  And I'm sure in professional business-to-business sales in many verticals it still gets a place, too (I've actually seen it outside the car business).  However, at what point do we "take the calendars down" of booth bait, CarDoll, etc., in respect for our female co-workers?  How long is that "while"?

In some ways, perhaps dealerships are the last big "man cave" in the country.

Anyway, so I say "take the calendars down".  That's just me and my opinion.  Maybe one day we will.  

And, if we do, I will actually miss them, as a man.  As a professional, I take that as small price to pay to make the folks I work with more comfortable.

That's just my 1st Amendment opinion.  Uncensored.  No personal attacks.  If you disagree with me and won't change your mind, don't worry or whine about it, just go enjoy the booth bait at NADA, etc. and other services as "sex sells".  I will enjoy it myself.  That's the truth.

And I will also be happy when one day in this business we grow past it, too.  And that's also the truth.

Thanks!

Keith Shetterly
www.keithshetterly.com
Houston, Texas
January 2013

Views: 350

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Comment by Tom LaPointe / CarChat24 on January 30, 2013 at 10:25pm

Great insight - I kind of covered this in my own way with http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profiles/blogs/cardoll-vs...

As for booth candy in a professional conference - if it's cocktail dresses or gowns, it adds pizzazz; if it's slutty hooters attire then the calendars are still up. My opinion. As more women with dealership authority attend these conferences perhaps vendors will throw in a male spokesmodel or two, like manufacturers have done with the auto show circuit.

And lets face it, I have observed the pharmaceutical world and more than a few auto industry vendors that tend to hire reps more for their 'candy' factor than their intellect or sales ability. . . and I don't see that EVER changing

Comment by Criss Castle on January 30, 2013 at 9:44pm

The dynamics between men and women and the sexual climate of humans is a powerful motivator.  

This is in fact the very reason that sex will continue to be a part of marketing and advertising. Whether blatant or discrete, direct or innuendo, sex is effective and marketers have a hard time turning their backs on effective strategies. Sex, faith, money, power, prestige, popularity, vanity, good fortune and health....all very forceful drivers. 

Comment by James Easter on January 30, 2013 at 8:49pm
Like the post Keith.

Criss,very nice post yourself.

How bout either "booth bait" BOTH ways, or lose the bait altogether? lol
Comment by Criss Castle on January 30, 2013 at 7:54pm

Yes, sex does sell. It's probably the single largest market in the world: Sex. So, I'm wondering, when do the "products" come out at NADA geared toward those women decision makers such as myself? If it makes you internally happy, Keith, don't you think it would bring some happiness to the many women who now attend conferences to have a little eye candy ourselves? 

If a vendor had a bunch of hot guys at their booths with well built muscular bodies, perfect smiles, dark eyebrows and six pack abs, don't you think the women would be over there?

Probably for a little bit. But would we be really that intrigued. Probably not.

That's because women find men attractive in other ways than the exterior shallow ways.

Yes, we love good looks, but that has to be combined with the other qualities that make a man handsome such as intelligence, charm, sincerity, generosity, success, drive, self-esteem, power (at least that is one I am drawn to). In fact, I can honestly say that the men I have really cared for are ones that most of my friends would not do a double take at, but I would because of his other characteristics. And quite frankly, I wouldn't respect a man who flaunted his body as if it were his #1 quality. It wouldn't be bad if he had all that and more and there are several men that do, but they are not hanging around a booth at NADA.

The most attractive men are at the conventions in sharp dressed suits and making deals.

They don't even know they're beautiful....(had to throw that in there! LOL)

Take a look around at the people you respect most in the automotive industry. Pretend for just a moment that you knew absolutely nothing about them. Would you think that person was attractive or handsome or sexy? Most of the smart ones are not really all that cute if you wiped away their brain power. But, when the smart kicks in, it's a whole new perspective. 

Combine brains and beauty and it's an intimidating recipe for many. Smart is the new sexy and those that represent wouldn't be caught dead flaunting their bodies as their #1 resource. 

Think about it.....Heaven forbid you were in an accident that caused you permanent physical issues; would you be less you? For the person whose sole persona is based on their body, the answer is more likely yes. But for the person who is intrinsically connected to their character based on their intellect and good heart, the answer is no. 

On the flip side, if a business person is basing their business model on sex, knowing full well that this is the model that they will highlight, it doesn't mean that person represents that same persona after work hours. 

In fact, my son has a friend in Minneapolis who works at a bar. This young man is absolutely gorgeous, inside and out. And he's smart. When he goes to work, he knows his role is to show off his body as that this part of the attraction of the bar. There are a couple of outfits he has refused to wear, but for the most part, he works shirtless. He is fully aware that this gets him bigger tips and that he is wanted in part for his good looks. But, he is fully aware of this and he makes comment about how ignorant the customers are sometimes and how they behave, even how his managers behave toward him. He thinks less of them because of their behavior. How ironic is that? 

So, while some people might think less of the person whose body gets them in a position to make money, they may be thinking less of the people who allow this to happen. 

As the steering wheel turns, so are the drives of our lives.....

cc

Comment by Keith Shetterly on January 30, 2013 at 6:24pm

Thanks for the support, Jim.  Means a lot!

Comment by Jim Radogna on January 30, 2013 at 5:54pm

LOVE this post Keith! Sex shouldn't sell...Smart should sell. Thank you!

Comment by Keith Shetterly on January 30, 2013 at 5:08pm

Manny, you going to NADA?

Comment by Keith Shetterly on January 30, 2013 at 5:06pm

Nope.  I doubt too many will worry about this blog.  It'll be pretty quiet.

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