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Women Gender Studies
Transcript of Women Gender Studies
by: Priya Rao
product: Oikos Greek Yogurt
Analysis of the Coke Commercial
How does the image in the advertisement reinforce or subvert hegemonic ideologies?
Analysis of the Oikos Yogurt Commercial
1. How is gender and sexuality represented in this advertisement?
2. What social norms are put forth by the advertisement? In what way are they problematic?
Analysis of the Doritos Commercial
1. How are males and masculinity represented in this advertisement?
2. How do we understand this representation and why is reception important to consider when analyzing advertisements?
Analysis of the M&M's Commercial
product: Acura car
How is femininity and gender represented in this advertisement?
1. What social norms are put forth by the ad? In what ways are they problematic?
2. How is class represented in this ad?
This Coke ad has elements of racism in it. A middle eastern man is sweating in the desert sun, with a group of camels behind him, while a cowboy, group of showgirls, and biker are speeding along far ahead of him. Initially, I thought the ad was just showing that people of all cultures, using all types of transportation, want a cold coke. However, the only non-American culture shown is the middle-eastern one. Show girls, cowboys and men on motorcycles all have American origins. By showing middle-eastern transportation is not as good as American forms of transportation, the ad essentially undermines the whole middle-eastern culture. Therefore, the ad is hegemonic since it reinforces imperialistic ideology, where the white man dominates a subordinate culture (Lull).
The advertisement also brings up the issue of inferential racism, where the racism can be assumed but is not overt. For instance, the Ku Klux Klan clan and the message it spreads shows overt racism. The assumption that all people from the middle-eastern region ride camels and do not have access to coke, is an example of inferential racism (Hall).
The ad is an example of heterosexuality on television. The man and the woman seem to have a typical heterosexual relationship. At the beginning, the woman is sweetly feeding her man, and the man is enticing her with spoonfools of yogurt. There is a sudden role reversal, as the woman becomes aggressive and head-butts her partner. She gets aggressive and he topples over onto the ground.
This ad can be interpreted in two ways. It can be seen as empowering for women, since the woman takes control when the man share the yogurt with her. It shows that if food is at stake, a woman will not succumb to attempted foreplay from a man. On the other hand, the ad can be seen as disempowering to women. It suggests that men always keep women on their toes, and eventually women reach a breaking point. In this case, the yogurt was the trigger. Depending on how the ad is interpreted by female audiences, it may empower or disempower them
The Doritos commercial has an interesting way of portraying masculinity. It starts out subscribing to traditional roles, but eventually embraces the idea that men can have fun in princess outfits as well. Masculinity is shown when the father, before putting on the princess costume, is planning to play football with his friends. The ad mocks gender stereotypes associated with males. Masculinity, typically associated with sports and strength, does not restrict men from engaging in feminine activities. Having the father and all of his friends dress up in princess costumes, genuinely enjoying themselves, shows that men can express themselves however they want to.
Audience reception is important when analyzing advertisements because ads tells society “who is acceptable in terms of appearance and that transfers to who is acceptable to employ, associate with, communicate with, and value” (Haller and Ralph 297). In the case of the Doritos commercial, the ad tells males that showing their feminine side every once in a while is acceptable.
This ad for m&m’s enforces social norms of femininity. The ad is basically a male (in the shape of an m&m), craving the attention of female. The females are seducing the m&m, with their good looks. All the women in the ad are slender, polished, and flawless by today’s impossibly high standards for women. This ad brings up ideas from Berger’s article, who argued that women are always posing for men. Their bodies are always depicted in sexually appealing ways for a male audience (Berger). In the case of the ad, the male viewer is the m&m, and the females are posing for him and giving him the attention he seeks.
This Acura commercial portrays the extravagance of the upper class. The narrator has a deep, soothing voice that is just as luxurious as all the luxurious things he talks about. Also, the ad is a little bit hegemonic, conveying the idea that luxury and access to extravagant material goods will always dominante poverty and lower quality products.
Haller and Ralph talk about the portrayal of people with disabilities in advertisements. They state that deaf people and people in wheelchairs are seen as “superjock cripples” (Haller and Ralph 299). Similarly, in this ad, luxury and upper class are explicitly defined to mean having a nice house, an expensive coffee maker, and of course a sleek car. This vision of luxury is what American society has come to know and respect.
Berger, John. "Ways of Seeing ." Feminism and Visual Culture Reader. Chapter 7 . Print.
Hall , Stuart. "The Whites of Their Eyes: Stuart Hall ." 81-84. Print.
Haller, Beth A. , and Sue Ralph. "Current Perspectives on Advertising Images of Disability." 293-301. Print.
Lull, James. "Hegemony." 61-65. Print.