Every day, we drown in advertising. In terms of sheer quantity, the torrential downpour of commercials, billboards, bus panels, web ads, outweighs (probably by a factor of 10) all of the other media we are likely to intentionally consume. For every NYT article or blog post or magazine profile or short story or sitcom or song we deliberately read, watch or listen to, our eyes and ears are skimming pounds more advertising ephemera. This, in a nutshell, is why I think the reinforcements (or not) of gendered, racial, socioeconomic stereotypes in advertising are so important to pay attention to. It’s why I love this ad:
I’m not saying that they aren’t trying to sell me gym clothes. They are. And I’m not saying that I’m not their target audience. I am. But if a few drops in the advertising downpour (how are you liking my aquatic analogy? I think it’s working) support this messaging, I am all in favor.
Athleta: This woman likes running. She is beautiful, yes, but strong… look at those arms! She is out for a run, by herself, because she likes exercise. Consequently, she likes exercise gear that is functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Ree-tone: This woman likes talking on the phone. In her underwear. In her messy apartment with all those clothes and high heels, which she’d rather be wearing. Exercising sucks. She’d rather talk on the phone. Maybe these magical shoes will do all the work!