Promotional Culture 2008: Comm 5057   Unit 7 -  Age, Gender and ethnicity in advertising
Age - introduction: <ul><li>We’ve already noted the ‘logic’ of consumer culture - to make meaning making a function of ‘bu...
Age - introduction: <ul><li>We are also seeing more  ‘ generational micro marketing ’  to different age groups that are as...
Case study - ‘Tweens’: <ul><li>Tweens  are a marketing phenomenon, and have caused a ‘backlash’ moral panic from parents. ...
Case study - ‘Tween’ ethics: <ul><li>Important  ethical issues   go beyond the ‘moral panic’ that posits ‘innocent childre...
Age, advertising and legislation: <ul><li>Debates about ‘protecting children  have occurred against a backdrop of a huge i...
Other  age related advertising trends: <ul><li>‘ Cool Hunting’   </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relates back to youth and their ‘ex...
Gender - stereotypes: <ul><li>We need to remember that  sex  and  gender  is not the same thing. Your sex is biologically ...
Gender - stereotypes: <ul><li>The keywords when analysing gender representations are: </li></ul><ul><li>Objectification  –...
Challenging gender stereotypes - the historical perspective: <ul><li>A pioneer study by the New York Times in 1972 showed ...
Challenging gender stereotypes - the social perspective: <ul><li>The last 30 years have changed how these stereotypes are ...
Challenging gender stereotypes - the advertiser’s perspective: <ul><li>Advertisers have had to be responsive to these chan...
Challenging gender stereotypes - the advertiser’s perspective: <ul><li>However, studies demonstrate that for every ‘improv...
So, some issues: <ul><li>These new images have not ‘disappeared’ the old stereotypes, they have just added to them. We sti...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Promotional Culture

2,524
-1

Published on

Published in: Business, News & Politics
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
2,524
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
36
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Promotional Culture

  1. 1. Promotional Culture 2008: Comm 5057 Unit 7 - Age, Gender and ethnicity in advertising
  2. 2. Age - introduction: <ul><li>We’ve already noted the ‘logic’ of consumer culture - to make meaning making a function of ‘buying stuff’ in all aspects of life. It is therefore logical that this logic applies to all age groups - literally ‘from cradle to grave’ </li></ul><ul><li>Not all age groups are marketed to using the same modes of address, but a few ‘meta-trends’ do dominate ‘age marketing’: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Controversially, marketing and advertising is being directed to ever younger children , and this extension involves a widening array of more expensive good and services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Children make great customers because they are ‘empty sets’ - less imprinted by culture, more open to being ‘sold’ new experiences and influences, and less conservative with money (often their parents $$). Marketing is becoming ‘youth driven’ as a result </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The result is the ‘Kidult’ or ‘Rejuveline’ . Even adults are increasingly being ‘hailed’ by advertisers to think, dream and desire as if we were very young, as if their ‘aspirational age’ was much less than their real age. Why? The middle aged are 1) affluent and 2) afraid of getting old </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Age - introduction: <ul><li>We are also seeing more ‘ generational micro marketing ’ to different age groups that are assumed to have different wants and needs from each other, and share certain technological, musical, literary and pop cultural textual references with each other. This goes beyond teens vs adults. So we have seen the rise of: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Baby boomers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DINKs, SWFs, YUPPIES etc </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Generation X </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Generation Y </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Tweens’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>N[et] Gen - etc etc </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>To what extent have these ‘generations’ arisen spontaneously in pop culture and to what extent they are inventions by marketers? Can we even tell anymore? Businesses believe it though – for instance the 10 TV network targets Gen X&Y, and accepts a lower overall market share as a result </li></ul><ul><li>Where does this leave the elderly ? They are a tough market because they are not ‘needy consumers’, plus they are seen as ‘unsexy‘ in an aspirational world. Yet they are the fastest growing demographic Australia and control increasing wealth. So expect advertisers to ‘follow’ baby-boomers as they age </li></ul>
  4. 4. Case study - ‘Tweens’: <ul><li>Tweens are a marketing phenomenon, and have caused a ‘backlash’ moral panic from parents. Tweens are children aged from around 8-12, (just before puberty). This category didn’t exist ten years ago, but now the tween market is worth billions. Tweens are assumed to have all sorts of needs, aspirations and brand loyalties in product areas that until recently wouldn’t have been of interest to them at all: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Because tweens are too young to have their own income, tween spending works though parents. Tweens use ‘pester power’ to pressure parents to buy stuff for them. Parents themselves may feel pressure to buy stuff for tweens for their own ‘social status’ reasons. Stingy parents may even feel they are abusing their children! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Double income parents may feel guilty about not having ‘quality time’ with ‘latchkey children’ – leaving them vulnerable to ‘guilt spending’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Networked’ tweens are voracious users of mobile phones, social networking sites and computer games - and they can quickly spread marketing trends ‘virally’ in their peer groups and the schoolyard </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>By starting them young, marketers hope to induce ‘cradle to grave brand loyalty’ and an ‘aspirational mindset’ (the idea that they are entitled to only ‘the best’, and that best is always about more ‘stuff’) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Case study - ‘Tween’ ethics: <ul><li>Important ethical issues go beyond the ‘moral panic’ that posits ‘innocent children’ having their childhood ‘stolen’ by advertising. Is childhood really innocent? Are children ‘perfect little beings’, and is believing that just hopeless nostalgia? Ethical issues include: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Children’s ‘unique vulnerability’ to promotional rhetoric. Are children capable, at their stage of brain development, of being able to comprehend advertising for what it is - not just another story that can be incorporated into a play or fantasy life, but a highly structured text whose ultimate goal is behaviour change at the level of consumerism. If we accept that children are especially vulnerable - what if anything should parents, and governments do about it? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The sexualisation of ever younger children is hotly debated . Because so much of our adult spending is devoted to the display of wealth, beauty and sexual attractiveness, and because so much of our media is saturated with ‘celebrity culture’, there is a marketing logic about selling bras, crop tops and makeup to 8 year olds that are being socialised into a Paris Hilton world </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Again there is the question of universal commodification of life and the slow replacement of parents, religion and even schooling by marketing as the most important socialiser of children. Should society as a whole demand more from its future citizens that just the ability to shop til they drop? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Age, advertising and legislation: <ul><li>Debates about ‘protecting children have occurred against a backdrop of a huge increase in children’s TV advertising and co-promotions between toy producers, films and fast food outlets </li></ul><ul><li>Much of the concern has been directed at the convergence between cartoon TV/movie heroes and advertising – in other words where does the fantasy life ends and the selling begin? </li></ul><ul><li>The Australian Communications and Media Authority oversees the 1992 Broadcasting Services Act and its codes of practice in this area. The Children’s Television Standards limit ads in specific children’s (‘C’) TV ‘time bands’ to 13 minutes per hour. HOWEVER just outside those times studies have found up to 15 junk food commercials per hour! </li></ul><ul><li>Some countries have much stricter regimes - in Sweden advertising to children on the TV is banned! </li></ul><ul><li>None of this however addresses the growing percentage of advertising found on line and on mobile phones - which is far harder to regulate </li></ul>
  7. 7. Other age related advertising trends: <ul><li>‘ Cool Hunting’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relates back to youth and their ‘experimenting’ with identity. In a product-saturated market new trends and fashions must always emerge to make new meanings and restimulate consumer demand. Nothing does this like ‘youth cool’ that arises from subcultures, ethnic underclasses, street fashion, music etc. These days marketers know that in any youth group it is the 10-15% of ‘style influencers’ that spread trends. These ‘cool kids’ are now relentlessly hunted by marketers so that their edgy style can be appropriated and re-packaged for the masses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>An emerging oldies market? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>APIA commercials! Retiring baby boomers (sea changing/tree changing) wealthy, generally healthy, the kids are gone, and they don’t think of themselves as old. They are the first generation who want to think young forever. There are huge opportunities to market new products (hi-tech, financial services products, property, retirement toys, and experiences (holidaying, leisure, gambling) to these people, especially men (cosmetics to 60 year old men?). These people aren’t 17 any more, but they DON’T want marketers to acknowledge their real age! Here is a huge opportunity!! </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Gender - stereotypes: <ul><li>We need to remember that sex and gender is not the same thing. Your sex is biologically determined, but notions of gender are largely culturally determined and are reinforced by stereotyping - the repetition of gender norms in culture </li></ul><ul><li>Gender stereotypes in society, reflected in advertising, are so familiar we hardly notice them: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The male ‘hunk’, pursuer of women </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The female ‘babe’, seductress </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The father wage earner - head of the household </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The mother figure - protector of home and children </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>With children, we see different stereotypes: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The sexualised young girl as sophisticated ‘boy teasers’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The young boy as potential sports superstar </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(more about this next week in ‘age and advertising’) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Gender - stereotypes: <ul><li>The keywords when analysing gender representations are: </li></ul><ul><li>Objectification – where people are portrayed as mere ‘bodies’ or body parts, flesh to be consumed visually </li></ul><ul><li>Essentialism - presenting gendered stereotypes as if they were natural, not cultural </li></ul><ul><li>Reductionism - reducing the range of possible gender models / roles to the bare minimum </li></ul><ul><li>Binary oppositions - constructing these stereotypes as the black and white opposites of each other </li></ul>
  10. 10. Challenging gender stereotypes - the historical perspective: <ul><li>A pioneer study by the New York Times in 1972 showed that more than 1/3 of all ads showed women as domestic agents who were dependent on men. Nearly half portrayed women as ‘household functionaries’. Many depicted women as merely ‘decorative’ or ‘unintelligent’. Men were leaders, action makers, and the clear ‘head of the family’ </li></ul><ul><li>A famous 1979 study by Goffman showed that women in ads were often accorded childlike status, shown as smaller and lower than men and were depicted as withdrawn, passive and narcissistic. Their images were also frequently cropped and dismembered </li></ul><ul><li>As recently as 1986 a study showed that between 80 and 90% of all ads used male voice overs (why?) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Challenging gender stereotypes - the social perspective: <ul><li>The last 30 years have changed how these stereotypes are reproduced. Old stereotypes haven’t gone, but have been countered with new gender roles in work, childrearing, and relationships. We now see: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Women more likely to be accorded status as individuals and even experts. They are increasingly allowed to be seen as professionals in the workforce controlling their own spending, not just housewives (but we also see the rise of the ‘ supermum’ who tries to be perfect at both) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Women’s role as submissive sex object is also changing as many depictions begin to assert a sexual assertiveness and even dominance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Importantly, consumption is increasingly seen as an act of ‘self pleasuring’ - she does it for herself, not for a man (but she still does it!) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Men are increasingly allowed to be seen as intimate with children and tender (not domineering) with women </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Metrosexual men’, fashion and grooming conscious - but still ‘manly’ husbands and fathers (David Beckham) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The arrival of the gay ‘pink dollar’ - wealthy adults with no kids </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Challenging gender stereotypes - the advertiser’s perspective: <ul><li>Advertisers have had to be responsive to these changes, but not ‘step ahead’ of society. For instance, the last 30 years have brought a crisis of masculinity as ‘stable’ role models for men shrink. Consider: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The case of fashion, grooming products and cosmetics, traditionally a female dominated market. It is obviously in the manufacturers and advertisers interest to try to extend this high added value market to the 50% of people currently off limits, in other words sell them to men! And we are seeing this! But advertisers must be careful not to alienate men by causing counterphobic panic. They are doing this by marketing cosmetics as masculine ‘tune up’ technology. But they are yet to sell lipstick and nail polish to the mainstream male market! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The case of selling technology to women. In selling cars, electronics, even tools (traditionally masculine) to women, marketers have had to develop new rhetorical techniques </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Challenging gender stereotypes - the advertiser’s perspective: <ul><li>However, studies demonstrate that for every ‘improved’ gender representation there was one even worse that before! Going too far towards political correctness has produced new ‘backlash’ stereotypes (‘reverse sexism’) in advertising: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ retrosexual’ anti-’SNAG’ ‘new lads’ who ogle women and get pissed (often address is ironic) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The ‘desperate housewife’ who wants to be a ‘kept’ woman and not work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The man eater ‘revenge’ seductress/whore </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The ‘Paris Hilton’ ‘princess’ – feminist free zone </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Homer Simpson’ ‘slob’ husband who is too stupid to cook, clean etc etc </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. So, some issues: <ul><li>These new images have not ‘disappeared’ the old stereotypes, they have just added to them. We still see the domestic housewife and the alpha male in advertising, even if they are often presented in ironic terms </li></ul><ul><li>The fragmentation of the media market allows advertisers to cater for every personal ideology – from alpha males in sports broadcasts to working women during the financial reports. Advertising is a conservative institution in this regard </li></ul><ul><li>We are still left with a ‘representational landscape’ where women are often depicted as impossibly young, beautiful, slim and sexualised, but where the pressure to attain that perfection is internalised as coming from women themselves, not men </li></ul><ul><li>Some critics would argue that this is in no small part due to the fact that advertising creatives are predominantly still men, and so women are not getting the ads they themselves would prefer </li></ul>
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

×