A man sits next to his wife, starting at the big game on a television in front of him. His wife playfully tries to get his attention, but fails. She spots the Doritos her husband has been blindly devouring. Cut to the women posing seductively on top of a bed, covered by nothing but a pile Doritos. She has his attention.
How should we as consumers perceive this? I may not know how an entire population feels about this ad, but I do know of an interesting and different way to observe and test it. Imagine if the male and female actors exchanged roles.
Completely reversed. Does this new ad seem a bit off to you? Awkward? Uncomfortable? Why is it okay to have women pose in uncomfortable positions like exhibits, while we view the reverse as so weird and peculiar? Well, while I must admit the ad (not product) catches my eye, I think that to be fair I would have to deem the ad as degrading.
While I’m in no way indicating that those style commercials should be prohibited, I do feel that we as a community have the power to remove this style ad from our media channels. Overtime, ad techniques go out of style. They stop being grabbing attention, and therefore stop being profitable. So in order to speed up this process, hit ’em where it hurts, there wallets. Ignore the ads.
With new research, its already becoming apparent that these style print ads actually don’t effectively present the product’s brand to males. Women actually notice the products in these ads more.
If we as viewers and consumers don’t recognize the manner in which women are simply being objectified, we haven’t evolved as far as I had previously thought.
Taking the analysis of role reversal one step further, it is interesting to see how differently individuals perceive a women doing ‘man-things’ and men doing ‘lady-things.’ As a society, we seem to celebrate women entering “man’s world,” yet ostracize the opposite. It appears as though our societal structure places underlying positive connotations with things traditionally associated with the being a man.
If you know the problem. Fix it.