Breaking Gender Stereotypes in Advertising

Advertising in general very often uses stereotypes to attract a certain target customer base to purchase their products. This is especially visible in advertising within the chocolate industry, because as we’ve seen in both in-class examples and on our own time, many companies frequently make use of gender and racial stereotypes in order to get potential customers to relate to their product and become regular consumers of it. One such way that companies pigeonhole a specific group based on perceived common traits, is the depiction of women in ads as people who are: 1) unable to control their urges for chocolate, and 2) hyper-sexualized in contexts that don’t have any relation to the product. We can see an example of this in this Magnum Chocolate Bar commercial which shows a women doing something totally unacceptable [and probably illegal], running on top of cars in traffic, just to get her hands on a chocolate ice cream bar. This notion that women have no self-control when chocolate is introduced is bad for gender roles as a whole. 

Also, as we can see in this Godiva Chocolate ad below, they use an attractive, younger woman to show how good their product is, which we can see because she is eating it in a seductive manner, which implies that consuming the product will bring immense pleasure. The caption with the ad that reads, “Every woman is one part Godiva”, just reinforces the gender stereotype that women have to have chocolate to be themselves, or to feel complete as a person, which is a negative sentiment that we tried to avoid. George Fertitta, chief executive of Margeotes, Fertitta & Partners, the New York advertising firm that created the campaign, said to the Wall Street Journal, with regards to women as a target audience, that, “A diva…feels that an indulgent lifestyle has been earned. We decided to showcase the diva as the ambassador for Godiva.” In my opinion this shows that their thinking was that women have to indulge to feel happy and feel like themselves.

 

 

 

 

godiva-response-ad

 

What we strived to do with our own advertisement was to break this tired stereotype of women who had uncontrollable, sexualized urges for chocolate and use a different type of advertisement that played on different, more positive impacts that our product might have on people, rather than just portraying women as both an pretty object to look at, and as a group that lacks self-control when it comes to chocolate products. We decided to focus on one impact our product has on people, which is the energy it provides to the consumer, who can then use that energy to be productive with their day and even adventurous. Our ad depicts a group of middle aged people, 3 men and 2 women, out on a mountain, hiking and consuming our product. We wanted to create a new type of campaign that focused on including people from all different age groups and activity preference, and to focus on what great things you can accomplish with the satisfaction and energy you would get from consuming our product.

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Works Cited

CONTROVERSIES IN CONTEMPORARY ADVERTISING. S.l.: Polity, 1987. SagePub.com. Web. <http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/57153_Chapter_7.pdf&gt;.

Cho, Cynthia H. “Godiva Appeals to the Diva Within.” WSJ. 13 Sept. 2004. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.

 

 

 

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