Tyranny of Advertising


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Tyranny of Advertising

  1. 1. Tyranny of Advertising Understanding the Impact of Ads and Developing the Skills to Build Your Media Dorji Media Nomads, Thimphu, Bhutan Alex Greene & Kayle Schnell January 5 th , 2011
  2. 2. Advertising in America In cities throughout the United States like New York, American ’ s are constantly bombarded with Advertisements from the moment they walk outside.
  3. 3. Global Advertising and Homogenization of Gender, Body Type, Individual and the Habit of Consumption <ul><li>Global advertising spending is approximately $500 billion by conservative estimates. </li></ul><ul><li>Within the first six months of life, American children can recognize corporate logos . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Advertising Techniques <ul><li>Celebrity Endorsement, Greatness by Association </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Comparison </li></ul><ul><li>Social Embarrassment </li></ul><ul><li>Culture of New </li></ul><ul><li>False Problems, False Solutions </li></ul>Why is it important to understand advertising techniques?
  5. 5. Themes and Consequences in Advertising <ul><li>Gender Roles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Domestic abuse, depression </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Individuality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Narcissism, selfishness, lack of empathy, loss of sense of community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Body Image </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eating disorders, self-esteem issues, bullying </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consumption </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shopaholic, More is always better, false notion that materialism leads to happiness </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>What does this Vera Wang ad suggest about what it means to be female? </li></ul><ul><li>Crafting the female identity as a ‘ shopper ’ </li></ul><ul><li>Shopping at the mall as a social activity </li></ul><ul><li>Narrowing the definition of what it means to be a girl </li></ul><ul><li>Girls are no longer defined by human qualities but rather material qualities. </li></ul><ul><li>False Problem, False Solution </li></ul>Stereotypes and gender roles are embedded in almost every advertisement with which a male or female is the focus.
  7. 7. Not all Women are Like this
  8. 8. Beauty Constructed in Ads
  9. 9. <ul><li>We don't often see the before-and-after pictures for advertisements, but dramatic retouching isn't uncommon in print ads. </li></ul><ul><li>Judging by the positioning of Alba's knees in these shots, these are either different frames or Alba's head was Photoshopped onto a model's body. Notice the knee caps on the right? </li></ul><ul><li>Retouchers usually erase those instead of adding them in. Regardless of what exactly they did here, it just goes to show how fake all these images are. </li></ul>Tricks Of The Trade
  10. 10. Male Gender Roles <ul><li>Male is identified as muscle, physical strength and power </li></ul><ul><li>Gyms are the normal social center for males </li></ul><ul><li>Males are now narrowed into just one role </li></ul><ul><li>A man is now defined on markers of his gender. </li></ul><ul><li>False Problem, False Solution </li></ul><ul><li>Direct correlation between muscle size and masculinity </li></ul>
  11. 11. Not All Men Look Like This
  12. 12. Jewlery, Consumption & Gender Roles Women are always identified as jewelry consumers in advertising Women are stereotyped through ads that suggest females should want jewelry from their male partners. Let her experience your love based on the jewelry you buy her this Christmas. Relationships are portrayed as happier and more fulfilling with the gift of jewelry involved. Men are identified as jewelry buyers in advertisements. “ How far would you go for love? ” Implies $=love
  13. 13. Unrealistic Expectations
  14. 14. Advertisements Enforce Male Stereotypes
  15. 15. Beer Ads Enforce False Ideas about Masculinity <ul><li>Ubiquitous nature of beer advertising </li></ul><ul><li>What this is saying men should be like </li></ul><ul><li>Why it is problematic, What are the implications? </li></ul><ul><li>Educational Message </li></ul><ul><li>Campus Story </li></ul>
  16. 16. ‘ Super-Mom ’ Image of Women <ul><li>Work </li></ul><ul><li>Cook for the family </li></ul><ul><li>Entertain guests </li></ul><ul><li>Take care of children </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain a clean house </li></ul><ul><li>Go food shopping weekly </li></ul><ul><li>Take care of ‘ working man ’ </li></ul><ul><li>Bring kids to school </li></ul><ul><li>Create the social environment for children </li></ul><ul><li>Make all major purchases for the household </li></ul><ul><li>Make decisions about the family </li></ul>The role of the mother in the United States is full of unrealistic expectations where she is supposed to manage all family matters within the house as the father brings home the money to maintain and feed that kind of lifestyle.
  17. 17. Extreme Stereotypes <ul><li>This advertisement enforces the male as dominant and the female as submissive. </li></ul><ul><li>- Woman is still placed in a highly sexualized position </li></ul><ul><li>Males are seen as macho, uncompassionate, and jaded. </li></ul><ul><li>- This shows extreme false problems and false solutions associated with gender roles. </li></ul>What is the story being told through this advertisement?
  18. 18. Extreme Individualism “ Because you ’ re worth it ” Extreme individualism can be dangerous to a culture's health, leading to selfishness, narcissism, egomania and the mistaken notion that humans are not interdependent.
  19. 19. How does this advertisement reinforce individuality? What are the risks of these ads? <ul><li>Techniques of this advertisement </li></ul><ul><li>A woman decides whether or not she will be beautiful </li></ul><ul><li>She needs this technology in order to be beautiful </li></ul><ul><li>This ad puts all the responsibility on the individual. </li></ul>“ I Take Beauty into My Own Hands. Sometimes Literally. ”
  20. 20. Visual Objectification of Body Parts <ul><li>Advertisement targets aspects of the individual ie. The face </li></ul><ul><li>Objectifies the body </li></ul><ul><li>Puts emphasis on need to be good looking and well maintained. </li></ul><ul><li>Clothes are not enough </li></ul>
  21. 22. The Impact of Ads on Youth Selling a product as part of a larger image of what it means to be “ cool ” or “ hip ” Growing up in America, Children are constantly pressured to buy products or wear clothing with a certain label or brand that help to identify them and affect the way they socialize with their peers, define themselves and symbolize the level of wealth to which they are accustomed to. Branding: Associates a product with a person ’ s identity
  22. 23. Branding The Super Wealthy, Highly Attractive, Trendy and Preppy Consumer
  23. 24. <ul><li>Chaco is trying to get the consumer to identify with a certain image that they are manufacturing </li></ul><ul><li>- Want consumer to believe the correlation between material goods and happiness. </li></ul><ul><li>Individual is presented as being defined by products/image </li></ul><ul><li>Youth buy certain products so that they can be identified as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nature lover </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hipster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preppy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clothing has become symbolic of who you are. </li></ul>Branding and Identity
  24. 26. Branding the Super Thin <ul><li>American Apparel is targeting one image of a woman </li></ul><ul><li>Companies target consumers using different body images </li></ul><ul><li>By repetitive use of skinny models, the company sells the notion of beauty = skinny. </li></ul><ul><li>The majority of American women don ’ t have this body type. </li></ul>
  25. 27. Body Image and Peer Groups <ul><li>The body types used in this advertisement are not a accurate portrayal. </li></ul><ul><li>The lack of clothing, and slick wet look is selling an image of a highly sexualized lifestyle. </li></ul><ul><li>Suggesting that this is the normal social environment. </li></ul>
  26. 28. High Costs of Good Looks <ul><li>Gym Membership : $30-$60 USD per month or roughly $400-$700 dollars a year. </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Trainer : $60-$100 dollars per session. Some charge up $15,000 dollars for six week intensive programs. </li></ul><ul><li>Nutritionist : $50-$175 USD per hour. At roughly two visits a week that comes to, $10,400 dollars a year </li></ul><ul><li>Organic/Local Food : On average local organic food costs anywhere from 10% to 60% more than store brand. </li></ul><ul><li>Plastic Surgery : Basic procedures start at roughly $20,000 . </li></ul><ul><li>Total : $55,000 alone, just on good looks. </li></ul><ul><li>At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day </li></ul>
  27. 29. Fashion & Excessive Consumption <ul><li>Women have to be fashionable and beautiful. </li></ul><ul><li>This advertisement implies that all girls and women should ‘ WANT ’ to buy clothing </li></ul><ul><li>We are told through these advertisements that fashion should be how we define ourselves. </li></ul>
  28. 30. You Are What You Wear? <ul><li>This advertisement wants you to believe that to define yourself, you must consistently wear the same underwear. </li></ul><ul><li>Men are grouped by there underwear, as if it actually speaks about their personality. </li></ul><ul><li>Sets up atmosphere of choice, need, and creation of the individual based on products. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Are you a boxer guy or brief guy. ” </li></ul><ul><li>False Problem, False Solution </li></ul>
  29. 31. Fashion and consumption are illustrated as a gateway to happiness in the present moment. Perception of reality. False Problem : Certain expensive products, as opposed to mind, community or family, can give you heightened enjoyment of the present moment. False Solution : Buying these clothes from Banana Republic will make you more ‘ present ’ this holiday season. “ Love the Present ”
  30. 32. <ul><li>False Problem: More attractive = Over consumption </li></ul><ul><li>- The woman in this image isn ’ t wearing one watch, she ’ s wearing 4-5 on each wrist. This suggests that in order to attract male attention or be a beautiful woman you need to be excessive and over consuming. </li></ul><ul><li>Each of those watches is about $300 each. That means in order to have all these watches you have to be able to spend almost $2,000 on just those items, let alone everything else she is wearing. </li></ul><ul><li>False Solution: Excess is legitimate and fun. Excessive buying makes you popular. </li></ul>Women, Beauty and Consumption
  31. 33. Advertising – How Susceptible Are YOU? Concluding Message: Don ’ t be Fooled by Ads: Key Terms to Remember: 1. Developing a Media Dorji : Being able to see through false images within advertising 2. Norming the False: All ads have a story that sets up and normalizes a stereotype that is false. 3. Providing a Fake Solution: All ads make you think you need a product to solve a FAKE problem with a FAKE solution. 4. Branding, Image and Identity: Don ’ t believe that you are defined by what you wear. If you can deconstruct and understand some of these false notions within ads, you are less likely to be fooled into the over-consuming culture many Americans have been sucked into.
  32. 34. Understanding Ad Deconstruction
  33. 35. Workshop: Turning an Ad Upside Down