More on Gendered Advertising

The Good Men Project reposted my advertising piece from yesterday in the Good Feed blog, with a slight twist. When I went to tweak it for their purposes, it occurred to me to flip the script for a minute and think about male advertising icons. If the lady mascots are all about cooking and cleaning, what were the male mascots all about?

This is by no means backed by data or fact, it’s merely what rose to the front of my mind when I set my brain the “male advertising icon” task. Given that 80% of advertising is creating characters that brains accidentally remember, well, it seems like a reasonable metric for success.

Top Male Ad Icons of the last 10 years (According to Emily and in no specific order)

  • The Old Spice Guy
  • “Can You Hear Me Now?” (Verizon)
  • Dell Computer Guy
  • The Mac Guy
  • The Most Interesting Man in the World (Dos Equis)
  • The Michelin Man (tires)
  • Mayhem (Allstate Insurance)
  • Jared (Subway)
  • Gecko (Geico)

So…. technology, cars, beer, car insurance, sandwiches. Interesting…

Who does what shopping is what drives this kind of targeting. We like to blame advertisers for pandering to outdated, antiquated, sexist stereotypes, but the truth is, they’re merely reflecting what their focus groups are saying. If we were less antiquated about who makes car purchasing decisions and who knows how to change a diaper, advertisers would be forced to reconsider their plans. We want them to take the high road, to lead us to wards equality and fairness, to reflect the values we wish we had, instead of the ones we actually do. That seems a little too much to ask.

Related Post: Back when I used to work in advertising…

Related Post: Target embraces diversity.



Filed under Advertising, Gender, Republished!

2 responses to “More on Gendered Advertising

  1. While teaching first-year composition, what strikes me is how angry and frustrated both the female and male students are about who they are told to be.

    The commercial that has been driving me bonkers is that Klondike one, where the “husband” earns ice cream and cheerleaders for letting his wife speak for five seconds.

    But what I really like are the surprising representations of masculinity. Like those laundry commercials (Tide?), that show a stay-at-home-dad talking about housework as problem-solving.

  2. Pingback: Facebook thinks that I think I need to lose weight. | rosiesaysblog

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