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Advertising and the Other.docx

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Sociology 2172A/B
Gale Cassidy

Advertising and the Other Advertising and Minority - Advertising is the catalyst behind the consumerism of a capitalist society; it drives mainstream media o Mainstream media exists to provide an outlet for advertising by attracting a wide audience - Advertising connects consumer products with what is socially acceptable by capitalizing on our insecurities and dormant desires - Advertising exploits our obsession with appearance-based self esteem - Creates unhealthy dependence because relief is promised to be a purchasable fantasy away - Advertising encourages waste, destroy environment, distorts human value and strengthens distribution of power and resource - Green advertising is hypocritical: has underlying messages of use more not less - Relationship between minority and advertising o Power of advertising to define what is acceptable and normal by emphasizing certain aspects of reality and dismissing others as irrelevant and inferior o Minorities rarely appeared in ads for fear of alienating a white consumer base  Minorities often cast as problems o Recently minorities embraced as symbols of diversity that is key for massaging the message, inclusiveness of the message  Deceiving: Increase in the quantity of minority may be offset by the quality of representations that continue to stereotype, deny the legitimacy of ethnicity for branding or marketing  Continuous stereotyping The Dynamics of Advertising - Central to all advertising is a simple message: is for every so called need, there is a product - 2 functions of advertising o Manifest function: Sell product by symbolically linking consumer with product o Latent function: Selling of fantasies by manufacturing discontent with present while glamorizing consumption as solution to problem o Contemporary advertising sells fantasies  Transports people into world of popularity and lifestyle anchored around the pursuit of conspicuous consumption  Prey on gaps in self-esteem with seductive images and fantasies  Remind us we are never good enough  Equating advertising with ideology reinforces political domination  Capitalist society ensure that audience become more actively involved in perpetuating patterns of control by consent rather than coercion - Advertising ideology: being loaded with ideas and ideals that extol the existing and unequal social order while excluding perspectives at odds with the message buy buy buy - Case Study: Benetton: o International brand built on an issue-oriented advertising campaign o Selling image social consciousness o Beneath rely on minorities as basis for ads o Stand out from commercial clutters while building brand loyalty o Pricking peoples conscience through use of images that startle/provokes o Criticized for capitalizing on diversity and misfortunate others as a basis of profit o Encourage skeptical individuals to feel clever and eager consumers with approval to make purchases - Advertising through the Prism of Whiteness o Mainstream media and advertising = interdependent o Advertising has 2 advantages over mainstream media:  Ads are not expected to be completely true  Advertising is not regulated under the same set of rules that govern news reporting and tv programs  Advertising is based on stereotypes  Stereotypes reflect social order because of their role in justifying the prevailing distribution of power and resource o We have been socialized into ideology of white supremacy and are unconsciously accepting the white standard of beauty o Roles portrayed by men and women are representation of ideal relations  White male: Strong and nobel providers  White females: fragile, domestic, objects of desire  Minorities: vulnerable, easily handled  Minority women expect to emulate the white beauty stander  Change hair colour and skin = white sells  Diversity sells  Important challenge to decolonize our thinking to break away from confines of white supremacy - Miniaturizing Minority Women o Advertising ejects minorities expect for stereotypes/embellishments o Images of exotic visible minority women meant to enrich daily life of white people o Minorities had to endure advertising images of diversity as inferior/irrelevant o Images of women are defined through fantasies of what women should be  They were sexualized  Women sexualized in areas that reduce their relevance in society and boost male ego  Portrayed as being obsessed with grooming or apparence o Image of visible minorities are still filtered through the prism of whiteness o Infantilize women by casting them as silly or child like o Reflect standards of beauty, even minority women conform with those standards o Minority in Advertising:  Women of colour were racialized through stereotype that denied differences and criticized sameness  White: beautiful  Brown: Manipulative  Asian: china doll, submissive, dragon lady, backstabbing  White represented romance and fragile  Non-white represented as primitive and symbolized lost world  Minorities are not expected to explore European tourism  Tourism ads reflected white supremacy that originated from colonial era  White people desire to go to European countries because its where they are from, minorities on the other hands would not understand them  Visible minority women rarely employed in beauty ads  Black women show lighter skin tone and straighter hair in beauty ads  Through stereotypes, it has affected the disempowerment of minorities by depoliticizing their status and contribution to society Skimming the surface - Shift from white sells to diversity sells o Shift due to: 1) Crisis in advertising: over clutter, conventionality, and boredom 2) Changes in social climate pertaining to minorities: white is boring 3) Growth in ethnic market - Minorities has trendy cachet as authentic and chi Advertising and People of Colour - Stereotypical images are catered to the mass audience mentality by either neutralizing or making humor of the negative perceptions that many whites may have had of racial minorities. o Portray minorities as filtered through Anglo eyes - 1960’s black civil rights activists, integration need and stop stereotypical images - 1969’s Latino rights, Perhaps the white hatred for blacks, which cannot find adequate expression in today’s ads, is being transferred upon their brown brothers - Native Americans disappeared from broadcast commercials and print advertising o Exception for automobiles and trucks that bear names such as Pontiac, Dakota… - Asians, particularly Japanese, continue to be dealt more than their share of commercial depicting them in stereotypes that cater to the fears and stereotypes of White Americans -
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