Gender stereotypes in advertising are one of the main means of supporting sexist ideologies. What’s even worse these ads and commercials are aired so often that they shape stereotypes among young children.
Have you ever thought over an answer you would give to the following question: “How do you characterize women?” Are pretty, pleasant and warm the main adjectives that come to your mind to answer this question?
If yes then you should think more and deeper, guys! A woman is not only beautiful. She can also be very competent, possess wonderful leadership skills and drive better than men do. If still hesitate or do not agree with this then you simply hold stereotypes about women. In fact, we come such across stereotypes quite often. Taking them as
In fact, we come across such stereotypes quite often. Taking them as the ground we classify people, consider them weak or strong, black or white. Such bias way of thinking drives us away from real characteristics. They can limit choices and opportunities. Now people freely speak up about equality, fight against violence, women are given more chances.
However, gender stereotypes still remain one of the main problems of modern societies. They appear everywhere: in social life, science, books. TV is another source of gender bias. Everybody has these boxes at home. So, gender stereotypes in advertising overwhelm the majority of airtime.
Accordingly, they shape thoughts and ideas. To learn more about infamous ads and commercials on gender stereotypes, stay tuned! We are going to provide with some examples which result in a strong public backlash. By the way, Britain is going to crack down all these gender stereotypes in advertising. Quite an inspiring step to be followed by other countries, isn’t it? So let’s get started and just drop such mold.
Gender Stereotypes in Advertising #1 | The Scholars and Butterflies of “GAP”
Are you familiar with GAP? Of course, you are. This American clothing company has its stores all over the world. The quality clothing and accessories of this retailer are quite popular.
Actually, one of the best ways to promote its products is an advertisement. So, it might seem that the beloved company of hundreds of people can have no problems with it. But the giant retailer got a bunch of complaints when released its commercial on kids’ clothes.
The company’s poster displayed a boy wearing an Albert Einstein T-shirt and a girl with cat ears and clothes that will be “the talk of the playground”. What’s annoying about is that the boy was labeled as “Little scholar” whereas the girl was called “ social butterfly”.
This is how the company used gender stereotypes in advertising. They might not even realize it. However, the ad provoked fury among people. All “GAP” had to do was to take down the commercial.
Gender Stereotypes in Advertising #2 | “Yorkie”, Not Available for Girls
In 2003 Nestle Rowntree launched its “Yorkie” campaign. From the very first sight it’s just a chocolate bar promotion. But this controversial ad hides something you should know.
It humorously but still, somehow deliberately sends a message; “not for girls”. Outraged? One of the best examples that prove gender stereotypes in advertising still make quite a huge amount.
People living in Britain behaved the same way. Soon the bar was banned from being sold in Birmingham and Liverpool. After being so “warmly” greeted, the company just shifted from its “not for girls” campaign and released a brand new advert.
Gender Stereotypes in Advertising #3 | Audi Commercial Associates Women with Second Hand Cars
Probably you’re shocked but this is real. This summer, famous German carmaker Audi aired an advert in China. Actually, it might seem quite funny if you are not attentive enough.
It is about a couple standing at the altar, ready to tie the knot. Suddenly a concerned future mother-in-law interrupts the ceremony and starts inspecting the bride. She pinches the bride’s nose and ears, checks her teeth. The groom seems surprised and tries to stop his mom. However, she takes a last look at the bride’s chest and declares: “an important decision must be made carefully”.
At the very end of the ad, an Audi car appears. The idea is the comparison of finding a car to finding a wife. Like in both cases everyone should be very careful.
Discussions about the ad being bias and deliberate use of gender stereotypes in advertising simply went viral on the Internet. People boycotted it. They demanded an explanation and an apology from the company.
Soon a response came from the carmaking giant. It expressed regret and assured that the commercial would totally be withdrawn.
Gender Stereotypes in Advertising #4 | Love Essex
Examples of gender stereotypes in advertising overwhelm not only television but city posters and billboards as well. “Love Essex” comes to prove that even now when women manage to be not only pretty but get an education and run successful business life, certain groundless stereotypes just keep appearing in public.
So, “Love Essex” is a campaign which encourages those living in the north of London to keep their streets clean. This campaign is introduced through two very controversial pictures.
One depicts a woman with a tag stating that putting garbage in the trash is “a pretty quick thing to do.”
This might sound alright if the second picture didn’t appear next to it. It’s an image of a man who states that putting trash in a bin is the “smart thing to do.
Now folks, ATTENTION, please. The words “pretty” and “smart” are highlighted. What does this mean? Women can be pretty but not smart? Do you really mean this, guys? It is this “pretty vs. smart” stereotype that drove netizens crazy and they started signing a petition.
Gender Stereotypes in Advertising #5 | Clorox
Women are tired of hearing that housework is all they do better than men. This is really annoying. But unfortunately, such examples of gender stereotypes in advertising keep having higher levels.
Clorox’s two videos are good examples to touch upon several issues. So in these videos, women go the Clorox 2 Stain Research Facility to witness the power of Clorox.
The first message of this commercial is that women should deal with laundry only. A second message is that science is men’s work. What does this mean? Are men more academic than women? NO WAY!
In fact, the commercial works pretty well to show how stereotyped the market of adverts is. It doesn’t matter whether people realize it or not, but these two videos are quite good examples to depict the way advertisements reinforce gender stereotypes.
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