I’m just confused…
as to why ads have to be like this?
So I don’t really subscribe to magazines or flip through them unless there is a really long line at Target. I get my news via the internet where articles aren’t necessarily surrounded by print ads that take your mind away from the article, they are usually surrounded by ads for shoe shopping sites I’ve (very) recently visited. Anyway, back to the point, I didn’t really have an idea about what I wanted to write about for a best or worst ad I’ve seen. Therefore I hopped on the ever-popular Google and just typed in, “2014 magazine ads” and can I just say… ugh. This is disgusting! I was thinking about writing this blog post about something fun and happy, like rain boots, or Skittles, I don’t know, but now I’m full of rage, anger, and frustration. We as women are being used for such disguising advertising techniques. When women get hired for a modeling position for these ads, are they aware as to what they context of the ad is going to be? I’ve watched enough Mad Men to know the answer to that question myself… it’s yes! That makes this so much worse. There is no line to be crossed, nothing is said, and no one is stood up for because we keep putting ourselves in this position.
I couldn’t decide which ad in particular I wanted to write about after this little search, so I’m about to bring 3 to your attention, for no particular reason other than they were on the first page, and as we know, no one really ever goes past the first page in a Google search.
So let us start with Burger King, shall we? I understand that they are trying to keep up with the infamous Carls Jr. ad where the girl is sitting on some muscle car in barely anything, eating some gross cheeseburger, trying to act like eating is sexy. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I can eat a cheeseburger seductively. Burger King here took it to another level. The wording, the girl, her eyes, the placement of the sandwich, I don’t know what I can even say. I was just blown away when I saw this. How is something this suggestive legal? It’ll blow my mind away? Doubtful. Are her red lips, blonde, hair, and porcelain skin really selling anyone this? Because if I walk into a Burger King I’m going to go ahead and guess that no one is going to look like her in the establishment. Next up, this font, the wording, it’s a “super seven incher” … I’m just going to leave that there for you all. Next up, in this lovely tiny font, we get to read about how this sandwich will, “fill your desire for something long, juicy…” should I throw up now, or later? Seriously Burger King? Seriously?
Next up on my ranting and raving spree is Lays Baked potato chips, delicious though they may be, this ad is not something I would have expected from them. Look at that nice lady, chilling out in her bed, nice clean sheets, smile on her face, next to her bag of chips. I know what you’re doing here, Lays, I get it, but I don’t feel guilty for eating chips, nor do I (sorry for the explicit content here) but for having sex with whomever I want. I am a young woman with as much freedom as a man. See that there, how they didn’t put a dude in bed, why, because they don’t watch their weight, because it’s fine that they have sex with anyone they want, no ad is going to condemn a man for his actions. Ugh, I just want to eat my chips in peace.
Last by certainly not least, RedBull. What clever commercials you’ve had in the past RedBull, but this ad makes me slightly uncomfortable. Their tagline, “RedBull gives you wings” is clever; having enough energy I could fly sounds very appealing most Monday mornings. I think of all the cool things that can fly and how easy it must be for them to transport themselves like birds, man, they get to go on a little vacation every year just because they fly down south. Oh and airplanes, what a great invention! Pegasus, where would Hercules have been without him? And what about Angels, what a peaceful thought, people watching over you with white wings, maybe some feathers, having your own protector. Last but not least, fairies. I grew up on Tinkerbell, and I was her for at least 3 Halloweens, feisty, protective, pretty great character all around if you ask me. However, looking at this RedBull ad, they went with none of these options. Instead they chose a shirtless woman laying on the beach… umm how does this make sense? She doesn’t even have wings, but yet, above her the tag line reads, “Nothing but wiiings”. There is no bird in the sky, nothing that directly correlates to the idea of productivity. Underneath the can it says 0 (calories)/ 0 (carbs)/ 100 (percent focus) with a camera very obviously “focused” on this lady. Thank you RedBull for making an energy drink ad that exploits woman in the most obscure way, no part of this was necessary, it hardly even makes sense for this ad.
I’m going to end on a note that I hope reflects why I’m so annoyed and angered by all of this. I sat in my sociology class sophomore year here at St. Kate’s and watched the documentary entitled, Miss Representation, and it moved me. Girls are constantly being force fed ideas of the ideal, things we cannot achieve; Photoshopped messages as to expectations of men as if we should be something that they want, instead of someone we want to be. I was talking to a co-worker the other day and she was saying how she has a 6 year old niece, and that this little girl won’t wear denim jeans because her belly “poofs out over the top in front” …she’s 6. Disgusting, and as a culture we aren’t doing anything to fix that. These 3 ads are depicting us sexual beings who should feel guilty for doing what we want, and are used to sell things to the general public. Miss Representation showed me how much exploitation women go through in ways that aren’t even as obvious as represented here.