What is the relationship between the denigration of men as men and patriarchy? So long as we buy into the idea that we can’t expect men to be good partners or fathers, we will tolerate women’s responsibility for the second shift and their placement on the mommy track at work. So the Homer Simpson-esque sitcom dads and the Jackass teenagers, while incredibly degrading to men, also serve to perpetuate patriarchy.
Case in point:
Jessica at Feministing writes that this ad:
…feed[s] into the sexist idea that men deserve a cookie for being halfway decent human beings, but it also denigrates men by suggesting that they’re animals, unable to resist any ass that that happens to pass their way.
Another excellent example here.
In this series, I share my thoughts about why and how people of color are included in advertising aimed primarily at whites. See the first in the series here. In this, part two of the series, I offer examples of the inclusion of people of color in ads to invoke (literally) the idea of “color,” “flavor,” or “personality.” Consider:
This ad for Absolute Vodka Peach (“Find Your Flavor”) includes two white and two brown people, plus a set of silhouettes.
NEW (Sept. ’10)! Holly F. and Lafin T.J. sent in three Life cereal box cover. Notice that “regular” Life has white people on the cover, while cinnamon and maple and brown sugar flavors have people of color on their covers:
In this pro-diversity ad, the idea of “spice” is literally used to represent diversity (via MultiCultClassics). Just a bit misguided too: Just a teaspoon or less of color, please. We wouldn’t want the “spice” to overwhelm the dish.
This ad for Samba Colore by Swatch also uses a model of color:
“Welcome to the Color Factory.” These two ads for a color photo printer and a color printer cartridge both use models of color alongside white models in order to express how “colorful” their product is.
Bri a sent in these four images (three from Gap and one from United Colors of Benneton). Each Gap ad is advertising a different product, with an emphasis on how many colors they come in (bottom right corner). They all, also, feature models of color.
And, of course, the United Colors of Benneton is famous for its use of models of color in its ads, blending quite purposefully the idea of clothing colors and skin colors:
NEW! Joshua B. sent in this photo of two french fry holders, one with a black and one with a white woman, reading “never a dull moment, only tasty,” and “Is it wrong to think Arby’s all the time.” The black woman, then, is presented alongside the ideas of excitement and flavor:
This kind of advertising can easily be explained away as coincidence, but when you see it over and over again, such as in this Cystal Light ad campaign that repeatedly compares water to a “pale” white woman and crystal light to a “pumped” black woman and these ads for an Australian bread company that use Blackness to argue that their bread is not bland.
I think these two images, photographed at Office Max by Joshua B., also illustrate this idea. The white woman is “beautiful,” but the black woman has “personality”:
Please do send other examples in if you see them!
Don’t miss the first in the series: Including people of color so as to associate the product with the racial stereotype.
We have recently posted a ton of stuff on how women and food are conflated so as to use sex to advertise food. In the ad below, we see the more rare instance in which a man ‘s body is turned into food. We’d like to point out an interesting difference in the way that food and sex are linked when the sexualized person is a man or a woman. Notice how, in this Axe ad, the man chooses to make himself into a sex object. He has a choice. If he wakes up one day and wants to put on Axe body spray, women will see him as a sex object and “hunger” after him. And it’s clear from the ad that he wants this attention. In the other instances we’ve offered where women are food, it’s not about something she does or chooses, it’s about how she is seen whether she likes it or not. Notice that in both cases the commercial is guided by what men, presumably, desire.
Thanks, again, to Camilla P!
Camilla P. sent us this international sampler of Coke Zero ads. She says all of them that she found use the whole “zero” is manlier than “diet” strategy (see the first two below), except the one in Australia which links a sip of Coke Zero with orgasm (see the third video).
From Brazil (we’d love someone to translate, although we think we get the gist):
If you liked that, see this remarkable Orangina commercial.
While whiteness is the neutral category (for example, see here and see here for the same phenomenon related to gender) and most, but not all, advertising is aimed at white people first, we all know that people of color DO appear in advertising, even when it’s obvious that the intended audience is mostly white. In this series, I’m going to offer some examples of how people of color are used in ads and some of the conditions under which they are included.
In this first post of the series, I offer you examples of ads that include people of color in order to associate the collectively-held meaning of the racial minority group (i.e., stereotypical traits, the social construction of the group) with the product.
This first one is my favorite (thanks to my student Kelly for submitting it). The product is Dole Fruit Gel Bowls. The text is: “There’s a feeling you get from the refreshing taste of real fruit. Lighten up with Reduced Sugar flavors. Life Is Sweet.” So how do they convince us that “Fruit Gel” is “real fruit”? By putting a “native” appearing woman with a ”natural” hairstyle in a white cotton frock with flowers around her neck.
In this ad (thanks to my student, Jennifer, for submitting it) Verizon Broadband is telling us that we can download music fast. What kind of music? The kind associated with black folks, of course. The text along the top reads: “Jazz. Rock. Trip Hop. Uptempo or down.”
Compare that version of the ad with this one (thanks to my student, Laura). In this ad, the person is now an Asian woman and the type of music mentioned is “Classical. Soul. Hip Hop.”
NEW: This ad uses an Asian man to invoke the idea of a good worker.
These two ads for Kool cigarettes (thanks to my student, Eugene, for the first one, and this blog for the second) use Black men doing stereotypically Black things (playing the trumpet and djing) in order to try to transfer some of the cool associated with Black men to Kool cigarettes. (Alternatively, these ads may be targeted directly at a Black audience.)
This one too:
NEW! In this ad, rhythm is represented by a black woman:
If anyone has more examples, I’d love to see them!
This Australian ad for Lipton tea suggests that it’s mind clarifying qualities are so good that it could help even George Bush achieve the feat of naming all 50 states.
This Chinese Greenpeace ad, portraying Bush’s spin on global warming, reads: “Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. Voice yours at forum.greenpeace.org.”
This Chinese ad for an erasable pen reads: “Everyone makes mistakes.”
In Malaysia, Bush is used to sell Smart cars. Text: “Still looking for weapons of mass destruction. Not smart.”
This is a Mexican ad for a dog kennel. “We don’t discriminate any kind of breed.” (The source says that, in Mexico, like in the U.S., “dog” is a name for a bad person.)
This ad for a Mexican newspaper reads: “Such a complex world needs a good explanation.”
This is an ad for the movie American Psycho in New Zealand.
In Portugal, playing war games (paint ball) is advertised as equivalent to playing George W. Bush.
This Swiss ad threatens, if you fall off your bicycle without a helmet, you may end up as dumb as George W. Bush.
Update: There have been some really nice points in the comments about how, in the process of making fun of Bush, we are also seeing the further stigmatization of ”people with developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and psychological diagnoses” (that from Penny in the comments).