Katz Blog and DQ

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As i read Katz's article I constantly thought of multiple examples for each point he made. His article was pretty straightforward and I was particularly interested in the section "The Association of Muscularity With Ideal Masculinity." Katz talks of Alan Klein who saw the rise in bodybuilding as a link to male insecurities. This is interesting to me because I have guy friends who have told me how hard it is to be a guy because almost all depictions of men in the media and advertising show that the man with the muscles and good looks will be the successful one. Therefore, men who either don't have time to build muscle or are not interesting in building muscle will get nowhere in life. When I try and think of examples in advertising in particular in which a man who is not built is admired I can't think of much. The only example I can think of that a 'non-masculine' man is admired is when he has a certain product that makes him popular with others.

One type of advertising that I kept thinking about during Katz's article was a recent type where a football player is accompanied by male, unrecognizable actors who do not display the type of masculinity that the football player has. Previously, an athlete would help sell a product by endorsing it in a commercial. At that point, the view belonged to the audience, as the athlete usually spoke to the audience. With the other type where the athlete is accompanied by normal people, the view is shifted to that of the unrecognizable actor. Now, the athlete speaks to that character and the commercial suddenly has a plot in which there is an encounter between a masculine, muscular athlete to admire and a relatable, average-looking character who is now used as a medium through which the audience can look up to and respect the athlete.

Although this example still has an audience viewpoint, this Pizza Hut commercial uses the masculine athlete, Aaron Rodgers, and two average men.

My discussion question has to do with this recent shift in viewpoint in commercials with athletes. Do you think that by portraying the audience as this less masculine, average figure, it is helping the brand that implements the idea? In these commercials do you think that this is meant to show that you are supposed to admire the athlete?

Advertisers have also found ways to market masculine power to middle- and upper-class also instead of just working-class. Katz gives the example of Saab who marketed a muscle car to upscale target by calling one of their cars "the muscle car with a social conscience." So even if a wealthy man was not muscular (and therefore not masculine), he could portray the image of a man who is by driving a car that is normally driven by masculine men.

This article was very interesting because there aren't a lot of literature that deals with masculine issues rather than feminine issues. This was the first article I had ever read that dealt with the problem of masculinity portrayal in advertising.

On the other hand, here is a commercial in which Aaron Rodgers is unrecognized by the other characters and is ridiculed when he claims to be an athlete.


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This page contains a single entry by Paige Bystrom published on November 4, 2012 10:48 PM.

Katz Blog Post + DQ was the previous entry in this blog.

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