Thanh, Meghan, Jordan, Madeleine, Courtney.
We're surrounded by advertisements that desperately compete for our attention. Everywhere we look, we find ourselves inevitably drawn to images of scantily clad attractive men and women that are supposed to somehow inspire us to purchase products they endorse. Sure, this attention-getting strategy is popular. But, is it effective?
Sex appeal can increase the effectiveness of an ad or commercial because it attracts the customer's attention. It's human nature to be curious about sex. A pair of long legs on a billboard is more likely to catch (and hold) a guy's attention than a puppy, regardless of how cute it may be. Even women are drawn to them, perhaps with the desire of having goddess-like legs.
The purpose of advertising is to convince people that products are of use to them in one way or another. If people agree, they will buy them. However abusing your audience's attention is a dangerous thing. Many campaigns deemed offensive have started brand boycotts that affect sales and damage brand reputation.
The website below is example of sex ads from big business:
15 Ads That Prove Sex Sells...Best?
Bitch Media: Mad World
Part 1) The Mad World blog is from Bitch Media, the website for *Bitch*magazine. The website and blog's mission, as stated on the website, is "to provide and encourage an engaged, thoughtful feminist response to mainstream media and culture". We are studying advertisements which is a part of mainstream media, so this website has the information we need. *Bitch*magazine and its affiliated website and blogs are a part of a non-profit organization. The magazine and other *Bitch* media has been critically
acclaimed by legitimate sources, so I believe this source to be reliable.
Part 2) *Bitch* magazine is available through many different outlets. The magazine has 11,000 subscribers worldwide, the website was one of the first resources I stumbled upon while researching so I believe it gets a lot of internet traffic, 21,000 people are registered on the website. They have a facebook, a twitter, retail locations for the magazine, and downloadable
audio podcasts. This amount of media outlets and prevalence makes this a very accessible source.
3. (Meghan)Project Muse: Advertising and Society Review
1 - This website was found using Google
and helped me with some preliminary research for this particular
project. After reading it through I discovered it was relevant in
terms of sexual advertising in general. In focused on a variety of
products, including fragrances. It asked and slightly explained the
question "does sex sell?" It more asked the questions then gave
a good solid response. The Muse Project sponsors the site, which is
a collection of journals from non-profit publishers. The fact that
they are not seeking a profit makes them a little trustworthy. This
article is more explanatory and in my opinion does not really push a
specific feminist agenda but simply asked the question. The same
question my group is examining.
2 - These resources
like many of the other resources we have used are not extremely easy
for the public to access. Most people who read these articles,
blogs, or other works written in or from the feminist perspective
have to be looking for them. They usually don't pop-up on the
front page of the New York Times or the Huffington Post and most of
the time people who come across these resources are looking for a
specific thing or share similar views with the writer. This
particular source was found by using Google. I was looking for a
specific blog or article or something relevant to our group's topic
and even with a specific goal finding this source was not easy. The
access to this website is not impossible but a person has to be
looking for something specific.
could of course become more available but several things would have
to happen. The information, which is readily available, is the
information, which interests the most people, and sadly to say that
is most often superficial information. This is why the most Googled
people tend to be celebrities and not politicians or key world
figures. However, this information was on the Internet and therefore
anyone in the world with access to the Internet could access this
computer. By making feminist issues more prevalent in peoples lives
and by making the worldwide web easier to access across the globe
more people will read and understand these issues better.
4. (Madeleine)Feminine Things.
This website is very relevant to the
question of the way fragrances are sold in our culture. It is written
by a "perfumista" who devotes her blog to examining every
imaginable aspect of perfume, its appeal, and its marketing. Because
this is a woman who has set out to become an expert on her subject
area, and who posts intelligent and thoughtful entries frequently,
she can be considered a worthwhile voice on this topic. If we accept
the premise that one does not need to be published in a scholarly
journal and/or have a doctorate to be taken seriously in a subject
area, then this source is certainly reliable. The entries that she
writes often do not mention feminism explicitly, which in my eyes
almost adds credibility because she is not relentlessly "on a
mission" to prove a specific point she's already decided must be
true. When she writes about feminism, it's because something has made
itself clear to her even though she's been looking at the wider
She does have a section of her website
devoted to feminist entries she's written:
Perfume and Feminist Aesthetics
This information is valuable because it
presents us with specific examples of the ideas behind the kinds of
campaigns we're focusing on in our project. It also allows us to
begin our thinking with an expert's musings on the subject.
This website is fairly accessible. Even
though it can only be accessed via the internet, it does not require
a super-fast internet connection to be read easily, the way some
websites do. Any internet speed would do in viewing this site. It was
also quite easy to find after a quick internet search...two of our
group members found this resource, using different search terms but
the same concept. It would be difficult to make this information more
accessible than it is now. Anyone around the world can access it with
an internet connection, including those without computers who have
access to a public library. The blog is also simple to navigate,
unlike, say, Twitter. Even though Twitter is also available to
everyone with an internet connection, the "newness" and
intricacies of Twitter can make it seem inaccessible to those who
have never used or heard of it before.
5. (Jordan)Bad Reputation
The previous website is a website
targeted towards feminist bloggers that is relevant in our topic of gender
roles and "sex sells." It's trustworthy/reliable because any
information that is talked about, the bloggers try to supply the readers with
further links or directions to go if they wanted to further look into
what is discussed. The information on this blog is valuable because it is
open to subscribers to express their opinions about what's going on in the
media and what feminist issues they come across. It's an open space for
people to bring awareness to others
and for them to speak their minds.
Some of the barriers associated with
this website is that it's mainly in the U.K. I think that a big part of a
website not being able to be as accessible is that it's not
advertised or promoted. I found it through google and don't think that I would
have come across it had I not found it through the search engine. Social
media is accessible if you are searching for it. The reader must seek
out these blogs and websites in order to find the information they are