Tom C. sent us an ad for Google that does an excellent job of resisting the urge to make separate commercials aimed at men and women. In the ad below, a searcher seeks information on masculine-typed and feminine-typed activities, as well as more neutral ones. It leaves open the sex of the searcher. It’s a nice counterpart to the profoundly gendered advertising we see almost everywhere else… and evidence that it doesn’t have to be that way.
For another example of non-gendered advertising, see this vintage Uniroyal tires ad.
In comparison, Hulu sometimes asks whether you want to see ads made “for her” or “for him,” Facebook wants to know what sex you are so as to better sell to you, and Best Buy will just assume you’re a dude,Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.