Culture is heavily influenced by the Mass Media. Social changes are tailored to reflect what humans think is “sexy” or “appealing”. Media influences us on what the ideal body is to the style of clothing we wear. The process of becoming “beautiful” varies with each different country from how we apply makeup to achieving the ideal body type. All of this plays into the products we buy or consume to achieve this look.

In this world, humans are similar to us except for a few minor differences, one of which being that they have a mating season. This breeding period lasts for about three months of the year, during which time a male or female is receptive to mating. Throughout the rest of the year, both parties are generally uninterested in sex.

Would it be possible to market beauty products to this species under these circumstances?

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    $\begingroup$ I heard it claimed that we used to have a mating season and gradually lost it from being able to protect children year round. So you need a competitive advantage for maintaining such mating season, otherwise marketing will do its best to extend the boundaries of the mating season in popular culture, much like Christmas marketing starts earlier every year. $\endgroup$
    – Alexis
    Nov 28, 2018 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ The easy answer is "yes." Do you have a specific question? I have enough of a marketing background to tell you that answering a general "how" is way too broad (whole books could be written, even with the conditions you've set). $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Nov 28, 2018 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH but if you only do the "sex sells" for the season, how would that affect marketing for the other 9 months? $\endgroup$
    – Incognito
    Nov 28, 2018 at 21:37
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    $\begingroup$ Why wouldn't you do it for the other 9 months? A great line from The Devil Wears Prada: "That's what this multi-billion dollar industry is all about... inner beauty." Just because the mating season is when one is biologically compelled to strut one's stuff doesn't mean that one wouldn't want to do so at other times. Marketing is the process of convincing people to do something regardless of what makes sense. Example: you're not hungry, but marketers will work to convince you to buy that hamburger anyway. Seasons are only a reason to ramp your efforts. Nothing more. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Nov 28, 2018 at 21:51
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    $\begingroup$ In general the world just wants to kill living things. So species figured out that breeding so that the arrival of their young coincide with a seasonal abundance. Usually the abundance is food, but really it is anything that makes raising them easier, and lacking that thing makes parenting near impossible, or down right deadly. So what is going on in your world that makes this one time of year the best time to have kids? And what is going on that makes every other time of the year lethal to the parents? $\endgroup$
    – Kain0_0
    Nov 29, 2018 at 5:46

4 Answers 4


Either one of two things is true:

  1. Each individual has his/her own breeding season. In that case, if these seasons do not overlap, then you have potential customers all year long. So you just advertise all year long.

  2. There is one breeding season. Then, culturally, this is a very important special time of year. There is increased money spent on advertising, and many products are targeted to be sold only this time of year. The market for beauty products spikes during these few months.

Hmmm....if only there was a retail shopping phenomenon in the US and Western Europe that was like this...

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Breeding season is Christmas for beauty products

Here in the real world, we already see the overall internet retail sails nearly double for two months out of the year. I'm sure if I investigated some specific categories of goods, you might see up to 50% of sales driven by just those two months.

So, whatever tactics you use to sell things during Christmas in the West, you would use to sell beauty products to the horny near-estrous of your species.

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    $\begingroup$ Your number one would add another big area to explore in literature. "They love each other, but their families are against". "He is a noble, she is not." "I truly thought she is the one, but her mating season is April to June, while mine is August to October". $\endgroup$
    – Headcrab
    Nov 29, 2018 at 8:31

There are more reasons for improving your appearance than just finding a mate

I don't know much about the sociology of your aliens. But for humans, physical attractiveness has many more advantages.

  • It makes one appear subconsciously more trustworthy
  • It makes one appear stronger and healthier
  • It suggests social status
  • It improves one's self-esteem

That's why beauty products are also popular with people who are not actively looking for a mate or when they are in a context where it would be inappropriate to do so (like in a business context).


Same way you market seasonal products here on Earth.

Breeding period may be shorter - but then these species would be preparing for it in advance, like here we do for the beach in summer and skiing in winter.

If breeding season is random for all individuals, then some segment of population would be interested in those products throughout the year.


Yes... we already market the crap out of everything...

Christmas, Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter, Valentines day, New years...

Summer, Winter, Autumn, Spring. Independence Day, Queens birthday, Labor Day... Super bowl, Olympics, Fifa, 9/11, World War 2 memorials, etc etc etc

If you want to go into beauty or mating related products, we have a even larger amount that we market all year around, but in your case, it would probably be advertised roughly 3-4 months ahead of time and build up more and more as the season approaches.

We already have many products which are targeted at making you more attractive and desirable to the opposite sex. The biggest things are probable Perfumes/Deoderants/Colonge and make up. Some other things include:

  • Shoes
  • Underwear
  • Shirts, dresses, skirts, pants, shorts, singlets, clothes in general
  • Scarves
  • Hates
  • Glasses
  • Razors
  • Straight Teeth
  • White teeth
  • Body shape and weight
  • Food and Diets
  • Proteins for those sick gains
  • Gym/Sports and the related gear
  • Doritos

Just take any one of those, and you can find a variety of different advertisements. Which goes to show that we can market anything as a way to get laid.


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