Gender Stereotypes In Advertising
Have you ever thought about the way that you feel after you see a really funny commercial, or a commercial that shocks you to the point where you know your going to think about it for the rest of the day? By simply stating the name of a specific company, is it possible for you to tell me their slogan___ is the place for the hardware man. Slogans like this are there to keep your attention, whether it be sexually, athletically, or by shock-value. These sexually-charged slogans are not by accident (such as the hardware man). They are put there for the very reason so you will think about them for the rest of the day. The perfect slogan or advertisement can go on for generations, and can sometimes carry a corporation. One of these firms that you might say has been carried by their history of ad campaigns is Absolut Vodka.
They can be all over the place, in magazines or even on TV, the way that these Absolut ads can turn anything from a womans body to a brick wall into the shape of their bottle. Shaped the same way as a common liquor or wine bottle, yet still everyone knows that this ad is Absolut-ly Absolut. The perfect example of a mental monopoly is by seeing a solid black magazine ad with a bottle cut out of it; the first thought to cross the consumers mind is that of the Absolut bottle. The surprise comes when the page is turned and the reader is bombarded with images of scantly clad men and women. Now the double take occurs when not only the traditional Absolut advertising ploy is present but also, this campaign is based around a sexual stereotype. Even established businesses will use gender roles to further product recognition. Because Absolut Vodka uses several ploys that highlight gender stereotypes in an effort to sell their product, consumers need to be aware that drinking this alcohol will not guarantee happiness or satisfaction with members of the opposite sex.
Individual advertisement examples are clearly shown in the first advertisement of a man seemingly climbing a sheet of ice with the silhouette of the Absolut bottle protruding from the side of the mountain. Although many women love the hardcore aspects of conquering the outdoors, it is generally thought of as a mans passion to get outside and explore. While this is not the traditional Absolut ad with the mountain actually resembling the bottle of liquor it does do an excellent job of getting its point across with subtle gender bias. Until actually examining an advertisement, it is hard to notice the gender roles that shine through so strongly. In this very ad, at a glance it looks as if they are simply stating that their vodka is strong and on the edge, while in reality this is the Swiss companys way of appealing to the male gender. Suddenly a few pages later the dangerous, and on the edge drink, has been transformed into a lighthearted woman. It is the same as realizing that the woman in the beer commercial is staring at you almost as if to be saying that by purchasing this drink the consumers appeal to this woman has skyrocketed. It is an ingenious way of marketing to different types of people, whether they be male, female, hetero- or homosexual, it is a simple fact that by going through sexual desire companies will sell more of their product..
Using the same stereotype this next ad implies that a woman would rather drink a vodka that is seen to be traditionally stylish and smooth rather then the hard, rough going- down drink that we saw in the preceding advertisement. This Absolut ad takes the scenic route employing a feathered scarf draped over the now elegant looking bottle. The spotlight is focused upon the bottle giving the idea that this is the drink that the important and beautiful people drink. In this scenario it is supposed to remind us of the days when glamorous movie stars walked the runway for their picture premiere; it is an old-school attitude that they try to turn into a successful advertisement. Although the same idea, these two advertisements seem to speak of two totally different beverages. In one case theres liquor that men would need to drink when theyre with the boys, telling war stories, the other is of the flappers in the 1920s sipping cocktails while socializing at a dance club. A great associate in advertising can take different social scenarios and turn them into the same drink. A true advertising genius can take a drink such as this, create hundreds of them for each specific sexual group, especially the two gender roles and institute them throughout the world, while all the while using fun, and sexuality as his basis. It must be understood however, that it does not matter what car you drive or what you drink when your thirsty, you will not be able to attract anyone that you could not previously, people need to focus more attention on their social skills then on their wallets, and I promise you, you will be able to win the girl/guy of your dreams. It matters none at all if you are drinking Absolut vodka at a party you will still be thought of as the same person.
With the third ad, Absolut decided to switch away from the stereotypes and head directly into full throttle sexual desire. In this ad, entitled Absolut Peep-Show it shows a bottle of Absolut Vodka with a half-naked woman sitting directly behind it. Where the bottle and the woman intersect, the body is magnified behind the glass. With this ad Absolut switches from the actual stereotypes and goes directly into blatant sexual desires. When a man crosses this ad the initial feeling is that when this drink is around, a woman like that can pop up anywhere. After analyzing this advertisement it is easy to recognize what the female body equates to in this world most times. There are instances such as this one where this woman is nothing but a body to be fantasized at with male eyes. Ad executives understand that this body will sell although it has nothing to do with liquor, just a beautiful female figure, this will sell liquor. This advertisement is also a shining example of the power men believe they have over women when an article like this is seen. It is easy to see people as objects when they are flaunting just to be seen this is why advertisers use this to propel sales. Although advertisers know people are not gullible, it is always beneficial to have an association to go with the product as in this ad, it will be easier when walking down the aisle to pick up the bottle of Absolut for the fact that they will remember the woman in the advertisement. As with anything pictures stream imagination which streams fantasy, this is the central point of what this ad is trying to get across.
Absolut has a monopoly on creativity in the use of ploys in their ads but the messages they send are resoundingly the same. The advertising ploy that is used most often throughout the world, and especially in Absolut is that of sexuality. Human sexuality can take a boring ad and make it anywhere from interesting, to shocking, to appealing in one critical move. Think of a normal teenage male watching a soft-drink advertisement, is he more likely to remember an ad where another random person has the is drinking the same drink? Or will he remember the ad in which a beautiful woman in a low cut bathing suit walks in front of the camera and oh yeah, she has the bottle in her hand? These are all things that go through the minds of marketing executives who plan what we will watch in between our favorite television shows, or what we will read at the doctors office. Throughout these three gender ploys it is plain to see that advertisers will not stop in the fight over your business. Commercials today take any subject whatsoever and turn out any commercial to sell it in the best way possible, whether that be through the use of gimmicks, athletic heroes, or sexuality.
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