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Lecture 7

SOCIO 2172A - Lecture 7: Advertising & the Other

6 Pages

Course Code
Sociology 2172A/B
Gale Cassidy

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ADVERTISING AND THE OTHER Minority Groups • minority groups (race, sex, age, handicapped) are seen as invisible to advertisers • when they are represented it is typically in stereotypical ways or in ways that the white audience are comfortable with • historically, “only white sells” ◦ didn't wanna disturb white values and norms ◦ reinforced stereotypes • racism still prevails today • Aunt Jemima ad ◦ the text bubble was a southern stereotypical way that at the time people would assume black women would sound ◦ she is dressed like a maid/servant ◦ tried to make the plantation life as not so bad ◦ used to have paper doll family of her and her husband and children with the product ▪ when you first got them they were in ragged clothes ▪ when you ought more products you would get nicer clothes ▪ sense of becoming more “civilized” • a lot of times humour is used, but tends to fail and become clearly racist • 60s, civil rights movement, targeted advertising companies for their racist portrayal of black people ◦ wanted them to downplay stereotypes and to include black characters General Trends 1. minorities as invisible • whiteness conveyed as being the norm and everything else is like the other • white-washing intensifies the invisibility of a minority group • important to look at what the media is NOT saying as much as what it is saying 2. minorities as a social problem • can certainly see this in the aboriginal population 3. minorities as tokens • quite often see the one person from the minority group are usually not the central character • they are ornamental in advertising ◦ ex. car ad with a sexy woman draped across the car • ex. token gay fashion designer 4. minorities as stereotypes • when people are asked about the stereotypes of men and women the results show that they do like these stereotypes • advertisements use many common threads of characteristics to distinguish certain races Intel Ad • had black runners looking like they are bowing down to the white boss • Intel realized it was racist and tried to pull it back before it was printed • but one publication already had it in printing • Intel claims 100% innocence Pop Chips • ad with Ashton Kutcher in black-face looking like an Indian man with slogan “These are the bombay” PlayStation Portable Ad • “white is coming” • image of white woman who is quite viciously grabbing and crushing a black woman's face • company defended the ad that it was just showing the contrast Burger King Ad • stereotype of African-Americans and fried chicken • the company removed this ad • another ad: ◦ “taste of Texan with a little spice of Mexican” ◦ had a tall white cowboy and a short Mexican man in wrestling apparel American Apparel • most say they don't see what's wrong with it • the argument that people complained about was that the young white woman is hanging onto him like the man (who appears to of Spanish decent) was an accessory (like a prop) • this ad has been pulled Nivea Products for Men Ad • “re-civilize yourself” • black man throwing away a head of himself that had an afro Nike Ad • “now you know” • insensitive to gay men and African-Americans • one mans crotch area is in the face of another mans as he drunks over him Chia Head • ceramic object that when you put seeds on it it grows • a Barak Obama one was made ◦ grows an afro • after they got complaints the company mad a Mitt Romney one too Army Enlisting Poster • “destroy this mad brute” • has a gorilla holding a woman • Vogue magazine had a cover that was very similar to this poster ◦ has large black man holding a small white woman Diesel • “how to control wild animals” • woman lying on a zebra print rug of sorts Life Cereal • the regular cereal – has white people • cinnamon cereal – has black people • maple and brown sugar cereal – black people Elderly • norm is to be young, being old is the “other” • in other places in the world the elderly are valued (ex. Asian countries) • group most likely to commit suicide are white men over 85 ◦ retired and does not feel valuable/useful anymore • ad with older individuals usually represent a negative stereotype • companies basically ignore the elderly – marketing done to younger group with idea of gaining costumers for life • showing old people in your ad it may alienate the younger audience • over 30% of beer in the States sold to people over 50, but ads generally do not contain older people • AARP's campaign in advertising trade publications ◦ “when you turn 50, doctors don't pronounce you dead, advertisers do” • Ball State University study – 2005 ◦ 45% of college students & 74% of seniors would stop buying a brand because of offensive ads ◦ seniors like ad that show older people being vibrant, clever, and having a sense of humour ◦ 7/8 of ads that were perceived as being offensive was agrees upon by both college students and seniors • Gemini Ad – for lighting systems ◦ one image of an elderly woman under a light ◦ another image with a young beautiful woman under Gemini lights • only about 10% of advertising is targeted to the elderly • Dove campaign for real beauty ◦ wrinkled or wonderful
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