In the first class, Dr. Strangelove talked about many interesting things about erotic advertising. He used terms that are not usually used in a regular classroom. It was interesting to see people’s reaction to these languages especially from the Chinese friends who sat beside me. We were giggling, and blushing. In China, sex is rarely discussed in public and erotic posters are rare. It was shocking when I came to Canada where the use of sex to sell product was so common. I tried to compare two different commercials for the similar product but targets at two different cultures.
The first commercial is the average western culture beer commercial. The woman is nude and shaking as if she is having sex. Then we can see men grabbing the beer. Finally the slogan comes up, “Share One With a Friend, Or Two.” The commercial implies that woman is like a beer. By having the beer, the man will have a good time with woman. There are a lot of sexual connotations in the commercial.
While the second commercial is very conservative. This is the first North Korean beer commercial. Instead of using sex to appeal to the audiences, it uses scientific facts to educate the audiences. The commercial shows the formula to make a beer. It also says beer is nutritious.
Yung Kyun Choi and Gordon E. Miracle argue that national culture has a significant effects on advertising techniques in the Journal of Advertising. They said that the US and North Korea has two different cultures. In the individualist culture, individual goals are emphasized over groups goals, social ties between individuals tend to be loose and communication is relatively direct. Members of the individualist culture are relatively more concerned with the clarity in conversation. In contrast, in collectivist cultures, people are relatively more concerned with issues of face management, and this concern leads to their relatively greater use of indirect communication compared with people from individualistic cultures. This is why the two advertisements use two different techniques in ads.
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Dr. Strangelove said in class that “we live in a world that is sex crazed but strangely unerotic.” Although there are a lot of sexualities in the media but these sexualities are very conservative. Sexuality is defined by the few elites in the society and they are afraid to step out of the boundaries. Dr. Strangelove also argues that controversial issues such as gay marriage is rarely portrayed in the advertisements because the corporations do not want to be labeled as gay.
In the 1960s and 1960s, ads portrayed woman as one whose sole function was to create a Technicolor home for her husband and family.
Miller, Michele and Ford, John from Old Dominion University argues that today, sexism is more align with sexist, and the implication of sexuality in the advertising and the media. In recent years, advertisers have venture into controversial territory with their use of female sexual images and a focus on distinct body parts, positioning, language, and sex role portrayals. In this advertisement, the head is not shown so the identity of the woman is not important. The audience only cares about her body and the message on her body. This is to deny her as a human being.
Every generation recreate and redefine sexuality. YouTube is a new medium allows people to express their ideas freely. It is a democratic platform where everyone can be heard in an unregulated space, unfiltered content not confined by market need and target demographic. YouTube might redefine sexuality and gender roles in the media by expressing what people truly feels.
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Dr.Strangelove mentioned the trend in class that there are more and more figures of women body getting used by artists and designers.
It is hard for normal people to evaluate the quality, market value & meaning behind a piece of art work or a design of furniture; however, there is one thing we are sure about: Women’s body figures are eye-catching wherever they are, even if sometimes those design look weird or not practical for daily use. The following pictures may somehow give us some ideas of how far they may get to.
Apparently, it is hard to tell how comfortable the women-inspired chair is, but since it can catch us attention. That is enough. You can say that its designer is creative. You may think he is a master of women Arts; however, the most important fact we should be aware is that his name, Fabio Novembre from Italy, is becoming well-known. Wow, who cares if the chair is comfortable or not ! He successfully sold himself by taking advantage of the women body-inspired chair ! That is the magic of using women’s body figures. Even though it may not help increase sales directly, but it can at least attract many people’s attention. In today’s information society, it is important but hard to get a product outstanding; nevertheless, women’s body figure is an effective way to sell, isn’t it?
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It seems women and cars are always related to each other. Some men will even treat their cars as “the second wives.” We can always see gorgeous girls in auto shows, race contest and ads campaign, but why? Why are these two always so closed to each other. The answer for that question could be various, but we find that two factors could be the reasons behind.
First, cars’ designs vs. women’s body figures. Don’ you think every car’s unique design is just like women’s body shape? Don’t you think today’s sharp and very aerodynamic outlooking of cars is the perfect match for the S curves of women’s body? That’s why we can frequently see many stunning car model standing beside those good-looking super cars in any auto shows, and that’s why we can constantly find beauties’ appearances in the ads campaign.
Second, it is quite a common sense that most male are interested in electronics like cell phones, PCs and robots, mechanical products like cars, yachts and even jets; plus all hot and sexy beautiful women. It seems for most men, owning a great looking sports car is just like having a gorgeous girl friend. A equal mark can be put between those two. That’s why those racing teams will always have so many hot girls around during the racing match. Maybe the feeling of conquering the top speed and being no.1 is just like conquering the best-looking girl.
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Sometimes the appropriate use of women-bodies may not only increase sales, but can further strengthen brand loyalties and do more meaningful contribution fight against some of the misconception we obtain from the dominant mass-media. Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign is just a perfect example for that.
Dove started launching this Real Beauty campaign in 2004 to try changing & widening the distorted and severely narrowed stereotypical definition of the beauty.
According to the campaign’s mission statement from dove’s website,
The campaign is actually inspired by a major global study called The Real Truth About Beauty. It proves that in nowadays society, the definition of beauty has become limiting and unattainable, as if only thin, young and blond were beautiful. Dove found the current, narrow definition of beauty was having a profound effect on the self-esteem of women:
-only 2% women around the world describe themselves as beautiful.
-81% of women in U.S strongly agree that “the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most women can’t ever achieve.
That’s why the mission started with using real women, not professional models, of various shapes, ages and sizes to provoke discussion & debate of today’s typecast beauty images.
Somebody says that Dove’s campaign is a failure, because it does not effectively change the definition of beauty in the mainstream society; however, I think Dove’s campaign is successful. Its sales and market share keeps growing after that due to the strengthened brand loyalty. Most of all, it somehow brings confidence to a number of women worldwide. Dove obviously set a perfect example for other companies about how to effectively use women body to do marketing and achieve a win-win situation.
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This Panasonic TV commercial, as a typical erotic ads, is probably one of the best examples which can reflect the use of sex reference.
In the commercial, the environment and decoration around the man is so similar to that of the woman, which consequently creates a misconception for both the audience and the man that they are in the same room. That actually indicates the most important point Panasonic want to sell — the clarity and definition of the TV; however, this selling point is hard to be presented properly in a commercial. How to solve this problem? It is easy. The answer is sex reference. The woman’s words and body language successfully generates the interest from the man by creating the temptation. Moreover, it also catches the attention of audiences. As a result, both the audience and the man think the image in the TV as a real woman. The true meaning of the woman’s words is that if you want to feel her, go get the TV! However, ask yourself, is the TV really more attractive than the woman in there?
Of course, TV is an electronic product. Its main potential target consumers are male group. That’s why the commercial tries to uses women’s body and behaviors to attempt men’s interest. The following commercial finds its cutting edge from a reversed angle compared the former ads we just watched. It shows that a sexy woman is chasing a Weiner Schnitzel hotdog. Her demand & eagerness for its product is taken to be referred as women’s sex need.
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So far we can see that sex values and gender roles do value a lot because they do help selling. Both male and female have mutual demand. That is where those commercials’ ideas coming from. In those erotic ads, the sex values and gender roles have been maximized.
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