I’m on the fence about this ad for Equinox, an upscale gym with locations in Los Angeles, New York City, and elsewhere. On the one hand, I’m not keen on the juxtaposition within advertisement — that the woman herself is a “joy ride” (despite the fact she is freezing in that outfit) or that riding a motorcycle in a bikini would be a joy ride (again, despite the fact she is freezing in that outfit). It’s another unrealistic portrayal of women’s bodies — not the physical body itself, but the unreal suggestion that she’s so “hot” she’s not losing her tuchus to frostbite.
However, I’m not bothered by the fact a woman in an advertisement for a gym is wearing a bikini, or that her face/identity is obscured by her motorcycle helmet. Even though there are other cases of advertising where a woman’s body is used to gratuitously sell a product — many alcohol ads, for instance — I think a gym advertisement is a pretty legit reason.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Keep reading »
It’s a sad but true fact that in some parts of the world, especially China, baby boys are favored over baby girls. In fact, boys are so strongly favored in some rural areas of China that girls are aborted after their gender is known and as a result there’s a drastic imbalance in the population.
But even in countries where baby girls are brought into the nursery, parents can have a hard time when they learn they’re decorating it pink instead of blue. This has a lot to do with existing sexist prejudices that adversely impact females in society — like lack of access to education and employment — that privilege males and incentivize parents to have boys.
So the magazine Fast Company thought up something completely innovative: it asked a half dozen ad agencies to rebrand girls with mock advertisements. Oh, if sexism were only as simple as bad advertising! The agencies primarily focused on targeting parents — er, consumers — in the U.S. and China and several opted to highlight perceived reasons that girls are better than boys, rather than just appreciating girls for their own sakes. For that reason I’m not sure I like all of these, although all the mock ads are certainly creative.
Take a click through and tell me in the comments what you think! [Fast Company]
United Colors of Benetton made a name for itself in the ’80s and ’90s for provocative, envelope-pushing advertising that urged consumers to question their cultural assumptions and values. But that was nearly 20 years ago, and since then, Benetton has struggled to find its foothold. For their newest campaign, they collaborated with “research communication center” Fabrica on the UNHATE project, a campaign that’s designed to “combat a culture of hatred.”
Well, okay. But I’m not quite sure that showing world leaders kissing one another is the best way to address this. Howevs, I suppose it does send the message that opposing sides — South Korea and North Korea, Israel and Palestine, the U.S. and Venezuela — can get along long enough to share one lousy peck on the lips. How this is going to help sell more black cardigans, I don’t know, but good luck with that, Benetton. [Unhate]
One of the things that comes up in a gender studies class is the concept of the “male gaze.” Generally speaking, it’s the idea that men have a particular and at-times oppressive way of envisioning women (innocent, helpless, submissive, dumb, etc.) which is reflected through the media. The excellent blog Sociological Images hazards a guess that this Olympus camera ad, which appeared in an Australian graphic design magazine, is the very definition of the male gaze. But it’s not the pictures of the attractive women in different colors/tones that are the problem — it’s the caption, which reads “Never get bored of how your girlfriend looks again.” Personally, I think the ad is clever, not especially sexist, although I do understand how it could be read as privileging men to control womens’ appearances. What do Frisky readers think? [Sociological Images] Keep reading »
I do a lot of grumping and grousing here at The Frisky. But when companies do something awesome, I like to give credit where credit is due. K-Y jelly has some new commercials going on the air in September for it’s K-Y Intense lube and one of them features a lesbian couple. (They’re actors.) The two women are shown in their bedroom talking about their great relationship and then under the covers, post-sex. As blogger Vanessa Valenti wrote on Feministing, “It’s perhaps the only ad I’ve seen referring to lesbians having sex that doesn’t portray them as oversexualized, objectified and not really gay but just performing for dudes’ pleasure.” I couldn’t have put it better. Good job, K-Y, and may your K-Y Intense lubricant be just as amazeballs as you claim! [YouTube via Feministing] Keep reading »
“Look good in all that you do” is not a slogan you expect to see next to a woman with a nasty-looking black eye. Then again, no one denies the Fluid hair salon in Edmonton, Alberta, was not trying to shock. The ad depicts a woman with a funky hairdo and a black eye sitting on a couch, while an attractive man in a suit stands behind her holding a diamond necklace. For myself and many others, the ad suggests domestic violence — gratuitous domestic violence, actually, because it’s an ad for a freakin’ hair salon.
Insinuating domestic violence is perfectly within Fluid’s rights, of course, and as to be expected, the salon owner is getting huffy about free speech. Keep reading »
This Week in Racially Insensitive Advertising News: the skin care company Nivea was forced to apologize yesterday after people objected to an ad that ran in the men’s magazine Esquire. The ad depicts a handsome, well-dressed black man holding a black, Afro-ed and bearded head in his hands, preparing to throw it into the distance, with the words “Look Like You Give A Damn: Re-Civilize Yourself.” Keep reading »
Breaking News: Julia Roberts and model Christy Turlington — both women in their 40s — are not the dewy, fresh-faced nymphs these ads for Maybelline and Lancome would have you believe. In fact, these airbrushed within-an-inch-of-their-lives ads have gotten both cosmetics companies in trouble with the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority, which regulates truth in advertising. Though Maybelline’s Christy Turlington ad features tiny print at the bottom which clarifies that the image offers an “illustrated effect” of how its product works, that wasn’t enough for the ASA. Ditto regarding Lancome’s ad, which the ASA claims did not “accurately illustrate what effect the product could achieve.” Further, the ASA couldn’t conclusively determine whether digital retouching had been used to alter the image. Keep reading »
Pink beer is the latest product to be feminized for the fairer sex. Molson Coors, a brewery, is pink-ifying a lager called Animée to be less “masculine” with “clear filtered, crisp rosé and zesty lemon flavors,” according to the UK’s Independent.
Pink beer … sounds like wine. It sounds like champagne, actually. And pink champagne is already a thing. Ergo, pink beer is not something that needs to happen, except in La La La Marketing Land where advertisers think anything “pink” appeals to pretty, pretty princesses women. Newsflash, beer advertisers: maybe if every single one of your commercials wasn’t about T&A your products would appeal to us more! Keep reading »