Advertisements for various products are seen everywhere — on billboards, in magazines, on television, and countless other places. What draws the consumer into the advertisement — the actual product, the display of the sensual woman as she drinks a glass of milk, or the muscular man sporting a Ralph Lauren blanket as a loincloth? These types of advertisements display unlikely depictions of men and women to society. Today, advertisers use the influence of gender and sex to sell various products to consumers, resulting in unrealistic expectations of men and women to society.
According to Vernon Fryburger, author of the book The New Age of Advertising, “The most important job for advertising is to “make a sale” for a product or a service, and to do so it must clearly establish a rapport with its audience, which means that it must consciously stay within relatively narrow bounds of acceptability in terms of language, visualizations, and general background and frame of reference” (15). Advertisers use many different strategies to sell their products to consumers. They spend over 200 billion dollars per year attempting to get the attention of consumers and to influence their decisions. An average person views 250 advertisements every day and over two million advertisements by the time they are twenty-five years of age (Baran 278). When advertisers are working on campaigns, they think about what the consumer wants and needs to see in order to purchase the product. More often than not, attractive, seductive-looking individuals are chosen for ads (Percy and Rossiter 1-5). When advertisers are preparing ad campaigns, they will usually discuss women and men can be profitably pictured (Goffman 25). An example of how ad...
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... World of Advertising. Chicago: Crain Books, 1975.
Goffman, Erving. Gender Advertisements. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard U.P., 1979.
Griffiths, Merris. “Craig, R. Stephen (1992): ‘The Effect of Television Day Part on Gender Portrayals in Television Commercials: A Content Analysis.’” Internet, 2001.
Kahle, Lynn R., Larry Chiagouris, editors. Values, Lifestyles, and Psychographics. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997.
Meyers, William. The Image-Makers: Power and Persuasion on Madison Avenue. New York:
The New York Times Book, 1984.
Moog, Carol, Ph. D. “Are They Selling Her Lips?”: Advertising and Identity. New York:
William Morrow, 1990.
Percy, Larry, John R. Rossiter. Advertising Strategy: A Communication Theory Approach.
New York: Praeger, 1980.
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