How might we better understand the meaning of sexy?

Unless businesses can effectively navigate a changing cultural landscape, consumer perceptions of their brands can quickly shift from hero to villain; with catastrophic financial results.

Diet-led messaging no longer resonates with consumers. Diet brands as a result are in decline. The brand question of whether you can ‘pinch more than an inch’ was no longer relevant to consumers. Kellogg’s Special K was in need of transformation.

The red swimsuit, regularly portrayed in previous decades of advertising, had built equity for the brand around the aspiration of sexiness. However, in an age of fat shaming, gender politics and blurring identities; what is sexy?

Along with a Mormon-born belly dancer living in Sweden, 24 members of The Sense Network collaborated to help define and test a new contemporary definition of sexy. Combining the diversity of their life experience, predicaments and expert knowledge we established a comprehensive, foundational understanding of sexy.

Stories and cultural examples from The Sense Network, made it clear for the team to understand the new meaning of sexy. How sexiness is now portrayed in culture had shifted considerably from the diet led, red swimsuits of old. Outputs from this work presented a new platform on which the Special K brand could innovate and build the business.

“This is fricking awesome! Exactly what we are after! Thank you for such a quick turnaround and for such brilliant outputs.
 This is an excellent piece of work.” Head of Strategy, BBH/ZAG

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