April 9, 2007

TR - Adbust


Watch this clip:

JW - Adbust


April 8, 2007



AL - Adbust


MN2 - Adbust


MN - Adbust


JF - Adbust


KS - Adbust


TS - Adbust




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April 2, 2007

ESCAPE by Calvin Klein

The ad that I selected was found when searching through a Cosmopolitan magazine, a magazine that advertises to mostly women through clothing and perfume ads (both are supposedly classified as “being feminine things?) of top fashion designers and perfumes in the industry. This ad that advertises Calvin Klein’s Escape perfume caught my attention immediately. By simply looking at the way the models in the advertisement are positioned, we can already see that women are lesser to the men because her whole body and face are looking up at him and are beneath him. His position symbolizes the power and control men have in society and how they are always at the top; everyone else must please, obey, and even bring him his pleasure. The fact that it is also coincidentally a white man is not surprising either for that very much reflects our inherent racist society.


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The blondes won't even know what hit them.

I was looking through my younger sister’s Seventeen magazines. I used to have to subscription as well. I never really critically examined the ads or articles in the magazine when I used to read it. I thought I would revisit my past and see what I had so blindly missed. In the newest issue, April 2007, I found one of the most shocking images. It was an ad for Sunsilk Color Boost. The image is of a silhouette of a woman with incredibly large, flowing hair, extremely skinny waist, a plumb bottom, very shapely legs, and high heels that is “refueling? her hair seemingly from a gas tank. Her thin wrist is also adorned with three bracelets; she is apparently not wearing any clothes other than those.

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Dell Spoof Ad

Dell Spoof Ad copy.jpg

ad makes you "guess" what is being sold


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Axe Body Spray

For my advertising assignment, I looked through a People magazine advertisement from about a half a year ago. I found an advertisement for Axe body spray, which also makes deodorants, shower gel, etc. The ad that I was looking at was for "Essence", and the only picture was a woman looking straight into the camera seductively.

Here's another Axe ad:

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Cosmopolitan-advertising sex and misogyny for way-too-many years


While it is possible I have an especially sensitive gendered-stomach, searching the Cosmopolitan for ads was a sickening experience. I happen to buy the “Cosmo? once before, for a women-studies assignment on body image I have completed in a Biology of women class, and nothing have improved between the editions. First, even if we strongly believe and have all the scientific evidence women just love pink, too much of a good thing is bad. The ‘Cosmo? suppose to be targeting young women and women adolescences, but it looks like it also ‘winks’ at these women’s partners by its broad display of semi-nude women and its advice to the women to “go easy? on their men.
The ads in the “Cosmo? mostly displayed nude (or semi-nude) women, extremely thin, smooth skinned and wearing pretty heavy makeup (so at least they were wearing something, and I hope this is not too crude of a joke in a Gender Women and Sexuality Studies site).
The women in the ads were mostly white, presumably middle or upper class (if I can judge by the very few clothes on their bodies and by the fact they must have spent hours on their hair, makeup, dresses, etc.) and “sexy?. They were never looked like they were in the middle of doing anything, rushing anywhere, or have any other purpose in their life than looking into the reader eyes with direct look (in big and always perfectly made eyes and eyelashes). Women in the “Cosmo? ads evade the readers’ gazes just if they were playfully trying to look like innocent (and younger) girls who are supposed to be so sexy by their playing of innocence as if they were not aware of their sexy clothes (or bodies) and makeup.

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Dolce & Gabbana: Fantasy Rape Ad


This Dolce & Gabbana ad is the one you've heard about. It's the ad that the brand was forced to pull from print advertising due to it's extreme risque nature. Looking at it, it's clear to see why an ad of such nature would cause a stir among many people.

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bebe accessories


I found this ad in the September 2006 issue of Cosmopolitan. This is only half of the ad it was actually a two page spread. This whole magazine is directed towards women. It is mainly for young adult women Cosmopolitan also has a magazine called Cosmo Girl which is directed towards a younger female audience.

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Advertisements and Their Hidden Messages


I took a look through the March 2007 issue of InStyle Magazine and found a few interesting ads. Some I liked and others I didn't. This magazine is targeted primarily at women and is usually full of beauty and fashion advice. The first ad I looked at fit this genre to the T. It was an ad for DKNY. The ad features what appears to be a cool, chic, sophisticated, city girl. It made me think that buying DKNY merchandise will make you the beautiful, independent woman you've always wanted to be. I really like the ad,actually. The girl in it is young and attractive, but she's dressed more modestly than other models often are. I like that you can see the layout of New York City in the background, too. The ad is selling more than fashion; it's selling a lifestyle. The possibilities for a young woman are endless in such a big city.

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April 1, 2007

"Inspired" silver


I found an add in one of my older cosmopolitan magazines. There were many I felt I could have written about, but one really jumped out at me. There is an add for where the women is naked covered in jewelry. The jewelry is supposed to look like diamonds, but it in bold letters it states "WHO CARES IF THEY'RE NOT REAL?" while the women who is naked has a bigger chest. Immediately this showed the standard that a lot of women feel to be thin with big boobs. This add is targeting both men and women of middle to lower class. The woman is there to draw the men in and the jewelry is supposed to draw the women in. There is sex all over this add, the company is saying you will be beautiful if you look and dress like a celebrity. One of the quotes on the add is "celebrities make them famous, we make them affordable." In the past this add would never have been in a magazine for anyone in the public to flip open and see. You can see that society is so used to sex being everywhere in the media that we do not even notice it anymore. It is such a socialized norm that these ads do not surprise me anymore; I do not even notice them when I am just flipping through this magazine. I absolutely think these kinds of ads contribute to the gendered "problems" of eating disorders. You cannot read a magazine, watch TV, or listen to the radio without someone talking about body size and what is considered to be beautiful.



For this assignment, I found a Skyy Vodka advertisement in my old Cosmopolitan magazine. This magazine is read by women in their late teens and in their twenties and early thirties. This particular ad is a Skyy Vodka ad and is targeted to those 21 and older as they are the one’s who can buy and consume alcohol.

This ad instantly portrays the media influenced ideal of beauty with a thin, white young woman dressed in skimpy clothes and sparkly jewelry. They only show the bottom half of her body, which is typical in many ads these days, and focuses mainly on her legs, as they are the majority of her body uncovered. Obviously, in this ad and many others, they have attractive women in their advertisements because sex sells. While looking at this ad, the lines and shapes immediately stood out to me. There is a fraction of a private plane in the picture and it shows a young woman coming down the stairs holding onto a railing that is shaped in a big arrow. Both the railing and the stairs lead to a bottle of SKYY Vodka along with a glass full ready to be served. Also, the woman’s leg is bend just perfectly to follow the railing and is also pointing to the alcohol. The woman is also extending her arm and reaching out for the alcohol. On the woman’s hand, is a very large ring, which looks like an engagement ring. The alcohol is also being carried by a man, so basically this ad is saying, ‘the beautiful, thin, high class women will be lured in by any man with Skyy Vodka.’ The ad is also implying that attractive women only want material items and look for men with lots of money, and you can capture this look with this Skyy Vodka!

Sexy Death

I found this ad for DeBeer’s jewelry in the February issue of Vogue, most likely targeted towards young adults (possibly 20’s and 30’s). The first thing that caught my eye and made me pause was the void look in the woman’s eye. The model in the picture is set to look as if she were dead, possible strangled with the diamonds strung across her neck, or tied up in them and left to drown (notice the tiny bubbles on the left). As strange and offensive as this image is, it seems to be a popular one in our media. Almost anywhere a person can find an image of the death of a beautiful woman being glorified. For one, it’s a key component of American horror films. Rarely do you see a mainstream horror film that doesn’t depict an unrealistically beautiful woman running in vain for her life, wearing only her black lacy underwear (maybe because she runs faster…?). Those scenes added to advertisements like these send out the repeated message that death and murder are sexy; it glorifies violence against women and possibly contributes to why so many women are victims in America.

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Hair Busts Out or Boobs Bust Out?

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I starting looking for ads in a Marie Claire magazine and I found a few that I could do an analysis on but that didn’t jump out at me until I saw this one. It is clearly obvious in this ad that the role of women as sexual objects is at play within the ad. The way that the woman is standing does not highlight the “lifted weightless? hair that is advertised, her hair almost blends in with the red background. What is highlighted instead is the “bust? of the woman. The words “Volume Busts Out? are written in bold and seem to point directly at the volume of her bust. The look on the woman’s face shows only sex, with her lips slightly parted and a hungry-type look in her eyes. In the upper left of the ad is a faint picture of what seem to be men taking pictures of the busty woman. This image reinforces the stereotype of women being seen as sexual objects and the idea that beauty is the only way to get male’s attention. Surely if the woman in the ad was larger and wasn’t busting out of her dress but she had beautiful hair, the men wouldn’t be taking her picture. I can see that this ad could potentially contribute to the “problem? of cosmetic surgery because of the emphasis on the woman’s “bust? and “maximum body?. Ads such as these could cause readers to want not only the “Vavoom? hair product, but also the “vavoom? body and bust.

Tequila and a three-some anybody?


While flipping through Stuff magazine, (a magazine targeted to men), I came across an advertisement for Jose Cuervo that caught my eye. The ad is for flavored tequila, Cuervo Citrico and Cuervo Oranjo. Three people are pictured in this ad, two women and one man. The people are depicted as very drunk and happy with giant grins on their faces. The man stands in the center of the two women and has his arms around both, pulling them close in an embrace. One woman looks like she is so drunk she has no idea what is going on and the other looks directly at the man who faces the camera (the viewer). Before even reading the text in the advertisement it seems apparent that this man is the sexual desire of the two women. This implies that Jose Cuervo makes you sexually attractive to women and that consuming the product will get you not one but TWO ladies! The text furthers the sexual innuendo by stating: MOJO NOW COMES FLAVORED. If the image didn't convince you that the ad bears sexual implications, the text most definitely does. This Cuervo ad compares tequila to a man's mojo, and basically states that Jose Cuervo will up your sexual prowess and stamina. Disgusting.

Bondage and Lexus


Watch this clip:

I came across this ad while viewing the "Killing Us Softly" website where Jean Kilbourne surveys the advertising world to critically examine how, why and to what effect corporations and their advertisers use images of girls and women to sell their products. The caption on the ad reads, "Are we the cutting-edge of avant-garde? . . . Well, no. . . . It's sufficiently radical." Now, after looking up the term avant-garde, I was able to explain to myself a little easier what a naked woman wrapped up and a car have to do with each other. I took it as Lexus' new line of cars as being shocking, but not quite as shocking as showing a picture representing bondage in a magazine. I believe this ad targets upper class white women because the car itself is very extravagant and the submissive woman next to it is white. If a guy were tied up, instead of a woman, I think the image would still be very strong mainly because bondage is something that the public views as shocking and it does not matter what the gender is. However, when you think of bondage, it's probably seen just as it is represented in the magazine. I think ads of the past would definitely have a different way of selling a high class car such as this. The issue of using fetishes for selling products is a long way from using famous sports stars or actors as ads have in the past. I think the concept that beauty, or should I say sex, to sell products has not changed, but companies need to out advertise one another to get that little bit of edge on the competition. The 'bit of edge" that I am referring to is the shocking image of bondage in this particular ad. The representation of women as being submissive adds fuel to the fire to the issues surrounding sexual victimization and the treatment of women as objects to be lusted over. Any critical author of today’s ads would be able to compare this with a car ad of the 1970’s and clearly show how much advertisements have changed.

Ripped Body


The advertisement that I am writing about was in a Men's Health magazine. It was for a whey protein dietary supplement from Twinlab. The ad states: What you do with a ripped body is your business. How you get one is ours. Behind the lettering, is a picture of a woman touching a man's chest. She is wearing only a bra and he has his shirt off. Each of them have their heads cut off the top of the picture as in many of the ads from previous posts. The ad speaks volumes about the role of sex in advertising. The woman in the ad is seen as the prize for having a great body. It implies with the heads being cut off, that how your body looks is what will allow you to find love and sex in your life above anything else. The magazine is targeting men, and for this reason, they can get away with ads like this which completely objectify women.

Gay Gang Bang?


When picking an ad for this assignment, I remembered a Dolce & Gabbana ad that I’d seen on one of my favorite blogs, The particular image was highlighted because it had been pulled from the ad campaign; the blogger wondered why (since although the image is overtly sexual and violent, most of the ads from the campaign are similar). Most commenters seemed to agree: the ad is pretty offensive. When I searched for more ads from the campaign, the above picture came up. These ads would most likely be found in upscale, high fashion magazines.

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Ad in Cosmo


I found my ad in a Cosmopolitan magazine. Its a Victorias Secret ad. Therefore it is for women, primarily older and devloped women, like women after puberty. Since Victorias Secret is just a womens underware, clothing and beauty store then Gender plays a crucial part in this ad. In this particular ad there is a tall, blonde woman, however, in many ads for VS there are Afrian Americans and women from other parts of the world. In my opinion, I feel as though VS does a very good job of integrating all varities of women. Many women that are in there ads are often small chested as well. Which is surprising for a company that sells millions of dollars in bras annually.

I think that VS ads do contribute to women and eating disorders, plastic surgery and sexual victimization. These women are tiny! And these women look amazing. I think that this ad is very different from what we would have seen in the past. When my mom was growing up Im sure there were not ads of women standing suductivly pulling their underware down and pushing her breasts out! Since this is a store that makes their money off underware I do feel that the ad is ok. I realize that VS could have just layed out underware on a floor and taken a picture of it. But the likelyhood of people actually buying those items is very low. I think seeing a new bra and panties advertised on an actual woman is very effective. I would know. I saw this ad and actually went out and bought it!


For this assignment, I chose to do my analysis on the Sketchers Ad featuring Ashlee Simpson. I got this ad from Life & Style magazine. This magazine main audience ranges from young children to young adults. The reason I chose this ad is because of its content.


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Sony’s advertisement for the portable Playstation heavily personifies the gaming system, and creates a feud between the black and white colors. Black and white colors are translated into black and white people, warring with one another. This is obviously a rude portrayal of a gaming system in that it delves into the boundaries of race.

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Evan Williams Gone Wrong


I chose to write this blog about an ad for a whiskey called Even Williams. The ad is not very good for a couple of reasons; reasons that I never would have even thought about until I started taking this class. As you can see from the ad they’re not helping with how men should view women. From the slogan they're essentially telling you that the women on the left isn't pretty at all really, but later on she becomes beautiful and looks like the women on the right. To me it seems like they’re kind of saying if you don’t have a “beautiful? women like the one on the right just wait it out and hope she does become beautiful, which is horrible. They’re not only stereotyping what beautiful is, but also kind of saying that men shouldn’t accept anything less than beautiful.

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Playstation and Racism

I browsed Google and searched specifically for Vogue ads. I chose Vogue magazine to search in because I have perused it before and seen many offensive and questionable ads I saw many that could have qualified for this project, however, the most offensive was a Playstation ad I found. sony_whiteiscoming_ad_large.jpg

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Slimfast Advertisements in Bridal Magazines



So most people know at least one bride-to-be that goes out and purchases one of the textbook sized bridal magazines full of dresses, rings, flowers, cakes....and ADVERSTISEMENTS. As if it weren't already overwhelming enough to be engaged and planning a wedding, women are swapped with expectations surrounding the big day. Slim fast is a product that has been available for years as a way to help people lose weight. It has been widely advertised the amount of weight it can help you lose, I personally have never felt like slimfast has pushed a super thin image; instead they promote being a healthy comfortable weight and try to provide a nutritional way to do it. In these advertisements I feel like they are drawing away from their positive message by implying it is not okay to be a "bigger bride".

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Womanizing advertisements not just in the fashion industry...

I think that most people, at one point in their lives or another, find
certain magazine ads to be sexist, violent, extreme, and uncalled for. When
people think of these types of images, either “clothing? or “perfume? or
“alcohol? ads come to mind, but how often do you think of an ad for chewing
gum or any other little daily luxuries?

I saw this ad and for a few seconds, without seeing the bottom 1/6 of the
page, had no idea what it was trying to sell. Hmm..a vectored, cartoonish
image of a skinny blonde either clasping or unclasping her bra strap,
pictured from behind, standing in front of an open window…To say the least,
it did not exactly catch my attention. Then I see a small image of a pack
of Trident gum next to the text, “A whiter smile gets you noticed. Even if
you don’t want to be.?


Some questions to consider:
What is the first thing you see?
Who is the main subject in the ad?
What is the woman standing in front of the window almost naked suggesting?
-What about the white crescent shape in the dark background?
What general audience is this ad aimed toward?

Continue reading "Womanizing advertisements not just in the fashion industry..." »

Big Boobs But No Identity


Sadly, I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of this ad if I weren’t in this class. However, I find this ad for Showtime’s new series “The Tudors? very interesting. The first thing that catches your eye is Jonathan Rhys Meyers sitting in the center with a loose fitting white shirt. Then there are the faceless women surrounding him. There are bound in their corset attire and seem to be worshiping him in a way. Their faces are not seen so the only way you can identify them is by their massive cleavage. (Their necklaces are also pointing to their cleavage which give it even more focus.) One woman is touching herself and another woman is holding the King’s crown so one could argue that they are just being shown as sexual and obedient servants to men. Finally, a large sword is sitting to the right of Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I interpret this symbol as a sign of violence and aggression but it can also be a sexual symbol representing his masculine sexuality.

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March 31, 2007

Mixed Up Ads

dkny ad 2.jpg ky ad 2.jpg

I was paging through an InStyle magazine, looking at all the ads. While there were many brands and products that were advertised, most of them a little pricey, two of them stuck out the most to me as a very interesting contradiction. One ad is for the brand DKNY and the other is for KY Intrigue personal lubricant. First the ad for DKNY, which I will focus on a little more, has nothing to do with the clothing brand. It features a man and a woman looking like they are about to have sex, the woman on the supine to the man, depicting helplessness and subordination to him. The lighting highlights certain features of the woman’s body: her breasts and stomach, focusing on sexual features. Both the man and the woman appear to be in good physical shape, furthering the “ideal body? both for men and women as well as the idea that only these types of bodies are desirable. The only part of the ad that actually shows the brand is on her underwear, in very small print towards the bottom of the page. I think that ads like this contribute to many of the problems in society. Young girls see these ads and think they need to strive to have beautiful bodies, big breasts, tan skin, full lips, so that the “hot guy? will want to sleep with them, because that is of course the goal here right? Not a relationship or emotional connection, but sex.

Which brings me to my advertising contradiction. My second ad is for KY Lubrication. My curiosity was peaked when I noticed that the one product that is sold for use during sexual activity, is one of the few that does not use any sexual images to sell it. Why is that so? All the ad says is “How Valentine’s Day blurs into night.? It implies sex, yet there are no toned bodies, no “beautiful people? on top of each other to sell the product.

I found a website with many different controversial ads from different places, it was an interesting website with a blog type set up. Check it out if you want to see more ads!

March 30, 2007

Sex or Perfume? I'm confused.

I was looking through my Men’s Vogue magazine when I came across a ridiculous perfume ad. I thought it was funny, soI searched online for perfume ads. This is the one I found.


I personally think perfume ads are pretty funny (you know, kind of like Abercrombie ads). What are they actually trying to sell in this ad? Sex? Racism? Objectification? (I have concluded they are selling anything but the actual product). Apparently this ad is selling a perfume called “In Black?. The woman in this photo represents an exotic, untamed, wild, sex object. Having her be completely naked wrapped in a thin string of beads only ads to the selling of her body, not the perfume. The woman is completely objectified in this photograph. Does she have a name or a personality? This ad definitely fulfills the stereotypes of what a feminine woman should be. She is wearing tons of makeup, she is seemingly hairless, thin and somewhat fragile.
It’s interesting that a black woman would be used for this ad. When I think of “in black? I imagine a woman in an outfit that is black. Black is often viewed in our society as sexy and impure. It seems so racists then, to have a woman who isn’t wearing black, but who is black. She isn’t wearing the sexy and impure she is the sexy and impure. The product name is only amplifying her skin color and the stereotypes that go along with black women. I can only assume that the dove represents some sort of virginity or purity, to sell to a non-black audience (the audience I believe this ad is selling to). The dove seems to contrast her lack of purity as a sex object.
I seriously wonder what the point of an ad like this is trying to make. Will I turn into this exotic sex object when I put on this perfume? Will someone please let me know?

March 29, 2007

Fake or Real?

ws diamonds.jpg

There are so many things wrong with this ad that it’s hard to even find a place to start. First let’s start with the fact that this is an image of a woman, yet the top half of her head and the lower half of her body are completely cut off. This is dehumanizing to her by just taking her body and amputating any part that the company wants to. Removing parts of a female’s body is extremely common in advertising, but rarely do you ever see a man who has part of his head cut off.

Another thing that is wrong is a more obvious one. This woman is almost completely naked with huge breasts that are only partially covered with her own hands. She is extremely thin which only further enforces societies emphasis on how being thin is the body type to strive for.

Continue reading "Fake or Real?" »

March 27, 2007

Assignment: Ad Analysis or Adbusting!

Blog Post Category 8. Adbusting (2 points)
Due by NOON on Monday April 2

Assignment Details: In American society (and increasingly in other Western and non-Western countries), children and adults alike are being socialized by the mass media as well as by parents, peers, schools, and other institutions. Advertising is a particularly interesting medium because it is meant to turn a profit. Much money is spent to induce you, the consumer, to have certain emotions and to feel certain needs. Advertisements can be viewed as very effective tools of socialization that suggest the statuses that are available within a society. They can also give insight into the values of a society.

Use as a resource

In this assignment you are asked to examine an advertisements in popular magazines and select one to bring to class). You must consider the following questions and write a 150 - 300 word post, OR, create (and post or bring to class) an ADBUSTER like the one you see below.

Questions to consider for your short analysis post:
1) What magazines did you examine? At what audience is each directed? How can you tell?

2) What roles in society are defined by these ads? Are they represented in any way that defines who (i.e., race, class, gender, age, ethnicity) should be in these roles?

3) What emotions are being elicited by these ads?

4) How is beauty portrayed in these ads?

5) What do these ads have to say about gender? What gendered norms are reinforced by these ads?

6) How might these ads be different from ads of the past? For example, can you see changing attitudes about men and women's work? Have ideas of beauty shifted—even in your lifetime?

7) Do you think these ads contribute to the gendered "problems" of eating disorders, sexual victimization, or cosmetic surgery? What would today's author have to say about what you found?



Here are other examples:
Adbusters spoof ads
Feministing has some in "Fun with Feminist Flickr" category

* NOTE * You may choose to write a post AND do an adbusting example for extra credit.