Advertising in the Media

Topics: Gender role, Advertising, Gender Pages: 6 (2223 words) Published: March 9, 2005
Advertising is an important social phenomenon. It both stimulates consumption, economic activity models, life-styles and a certain value orientation. Consumers are confronted with extensive daily doses of advertising in multiple media. With the continual attack of marketing media, it is presumable that it will affect our individualism and society as a whole. What are the effects of advertising today? Does television reinforce the mainstream ideology of contemporary culture? How do they shape the society? Can the media help break the barriers of gender roles? Consumer minds' can be changed, opinions molded. I believe advertising in the media today is slightly changing, however will not drastically change. The commercials and advertisements still implant the usual gender roles to our society today. Will the media ever change? The methodology used was researching, analyzing, and observing magazine ads, plus watching commercials for a full three hours to help in exposing the advertising in the media and how it seems to characterize our society today. Commercials are a way that gender roles are displayed in society. When you see a car commercial for a mechanic most of the time the mechanic is a man. But when you see a commercial about cleaning products for the house, normally a woman is the face you see. In other words, the media can help break the barriers on how gender roles are portrayed in society. The more those women represent strength on television; it will then encourage them to build their own self-confidence. In review of the television viewing of women and men, it is easy to forget that the hours they spend watching television are a substantial part of each week. Excluding hours spent sleeping, women spend approximately 1 hour out of every 4 hours of each day watching television. Men, not far behind, spend about 1 hour out of every 5 hours of each day watching television (Butler 1980). In general, these concentrated views of manhood suggest the many ways in which advertising negatively affects men by narrowing the definition of what it means to be a man in American society. Upon re-viewing the advertisements and commercials, I realized how much the role of the strong, silent, authoritarian, militaristic and threatening male pervades societal ideals. Although it's neither realistic nor a positive role to emulate, it also shapes men's views of themselves and how they measure up to masculine role models. Images of men influence the gender role attitudes that men express soon after exposure to the images. Ads and commercials, with their images of cowboys, successful businessmen, construction workers, sophisticates in tuxedos, muscle men and others, advertisements may seem to be flashing by casually. But they actually represent countless– if often unconscious– decisions by writers, advertisers, producers, programmers and others about what men look like, say and even think. Men view magazine advertisements containing images of men that varied in terms of how traditionally masculine versus neutral they were and whether the models were the same ate or much older than the viewers. This suggests that nontraditional men's gender role attitudes may be rather unstable and susceptible to momentary influences such as those found in advertising. Several parts of relationships are viewed differently by the sexes. "Men view women as lower on the socioeconomic scale, while women see the two genders as at equal level on the socioeconomic scale" (Melville and Cornish, 1993). When studying the many different commercials these two commercials definitely supported the main type of male role in advertising. Coca-Cola ran an ad in which at a certain time all of the women in an office rushed to the window to watch a construction worker take his shirt off and drink a Diet Coke. Although he is undressing, the situation allows us to assume that he will not reach full nudity. Another good example opens with two women...

Cited: Anderson, Margaret L. 2000. Thinking about Women: Sociological Perspectives on Sex
and Gender. Pearson Education, Inc.
Butler, Matilda. 1980. Women and the Mass Media. New York, NY: Human Sciences
Melville, Dennis A.; Cornish, Ian M. "Conservatism and Gender in the Perception of
Sex-Roles in Television Advertisements". Perceptual and Motor Skills. 1993, Vol. 77,
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