Monday, April 27, 2009

My humble opinion

ok- here's my personal opinion:

I don't believe I, as a woman, am turned on to a product by seeing an advertisement utilizing sex appeal. In fact, I think that women are much more keen to consubstantiality than sex appeal. In many of the sex ads, women as the advertisers focus, I desired to be like that women, have what that women had, and look like that women looked like.

In the most recent ads that I have posted, advertisers have tried to appeal to female demographic. In my humble opinion, it isn't effective. Men are sexually/visually turned on: women aren't. Seeing a sexy man in the nude isn't going to make me want a specific brand of toilet paper, a "naturally soft" laundry detergent, or even a wedding dress. In fact, I find that more offensive than persuasive.

What about the rest of you? Do you find an ad like this persuasive or not?

This ad is a great example of my point. I find it flagrantly disrespectful and crass. Sexual appeal is not always appropriate, especially advertising something as important and sanctified as marriage. The naked man in the background is in no way selling me this dress...

I'm very interested in hearing other peoples' opinions...

Sexy Toilet Paper

Ok, here's another... A sex ad geared towards women.

I pose the same questions- is it effective?

Is sex capable of selling a household product such as toilet paper?

For every girl out there: what do you think the underlying meaning is behind this image? Is sex a reasonable advertisement for household products?

Technically that is what this ad is saying... Women can buy everyday necessities, but this brand is so much better because we can buy into the ideal that by using this TP, we will somehow look like these models or be like them in some way...

It sounds crazy, but somehow effective...

What are your thoughts?

All the single ladies!

LADIES- this is for you!

Are you persuaded by this sex ad? Does seeing a naked man in an advertisement turn you on like Paris Hilton gets every guy in America to buy a burger?

Are you persuaded?

Is this technique effective on a female demographic?

you tell me....

Women want it too?

Shay brings up a great point in her comment on the Carl's Junior ad, see below. We've seen how the our sexist culture has created a sexual appeal; many advertisements are explicitly sexual, and women are depicted as sex objects and subordinate creatures.

Shay suggests that advertisements should "
maybe focus more on women since we are the ones who balance the check book."

Are there ads that focus on women? Can you think of any? And if so, what ideology are these ads trying to sell? Family life? Happiness in a pocketbook?

Why do we assume that sex ads are only geared towards men?

It is perfectly clear that women are a TOTALLY different demographic, but has our visual/sexual media reached both the sexes?

Lets find out....

Monday, April 13, 2009

Go Vegetarian?

Here is another EXTREME:

Go Vegetarian?

Even vegetarian advertisements have resorted to the ideology of "sex sells." There are countless ads of this nature- ads that use female nudity ot splash this lifestyle across the media. Is it effective?

This week I was reading an article about sex in the media. Dissent, Injustice, and the Meaning of America, by Steven Shiffrin, states that advertising promotes a sexist culture. The appeal of many commercials is explicitly sexual, and women are depicted as sex objects and subordinate creatures.

Do you think Shiffrin has a good point?

Do these ads depict women as sexual objects? How about subordinate?

Paris and Carl's Junior: a sexy burger

Ok... Now that we have some theoretical knowledge under our belts, we can start to really delve into some famous "sex ads."

First off: FOOD!!!

Many of you have seen this commercial- The first time I saw it, I honestly thought it was a wildly erotic way of selling bathing suits. I even would have gone for a place like Octopus, just trying to sell a car wash. I soon came to find out that someone who can't even eat an entire hamburger is selling hamburgers. Twisted huh? Let's take a look...

What were your first impressions?

Were you confused by the subtly in this ad?

Do you think this type of ad is effective? Why or why not?

Personally, I am convinced that this ad is geared towards one particular audience- three guesses as to whom? The ad is quite effective in aiming towards that audience and striking with deadly force. Also, the ambiguity in the beginning (the ad doesn't advertise its product until the very end) creates an even more heightened sense of longing and desire...

Let's say you're sitting on your couch and this ad comes on the TV. You are watching it with anticipation, an anticipation that only grows with a lack of information. Does the ambiguity make you desire the product more?

Seriously... who wouldn't drive to carl's junior after this advertisement hit the air?

Friday, April 3, 2009


WOW... That's one racy image...

And what's even more shocking is that this epic love scene is in fact advertising a purse!

How is this ad persuasive? There is no denying that this ad is trying to generate a blatant sex appeal, but lets look closer, shall we:

There are two women in this image, and only one man- what does this tell us?

The only item of "clothing" is a purse, and it is even a nude color. How does this affect your interpretation?

When looking at this ad, do you find the desire to be like this woman or man? Passion seems to be the overal theme. After reading Burke and understanding his idea of indentification, do you as a reader, desire to identify with this image or the characters in it? Have these models set the standard of so-called beauty that we are so desperately wanting to obtain?

If you start analyzing these ads, you will start to see all of the hidden persuasions... it will open your eyes to a whole different media. Beware!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Identification is key

So now you're wondering, "what in the WORLD does Burke have to do with SEX?

I'm sure you have all thought of that exact same question... Although Burke lived in a time of censorship (I'm sure he never dreamed of the hot, racy ads that we see on TV everyday), he put his finger precisely on the answer to my previous question: Why does SEX sell?

The answer is identification. We all want to be "consubstantial" with each other. As humans, we have an innate desire to identify with other human beings, although we can never fully do this. Every commercial that you see, every film that you buy, every magazine you read, you do this because you want to relate, to identify with these things. Beauty has been standardized; sex has become the largest, hottest, most prized commodity.

But why is sex so appealing? Why do babes in bikinis sell alcohol? Why is playboy the most sold magazine in the world, to both men and women? You know why- because each and every one of us, whether we will admit it or not, wants to identify with these images. We all want to look like these people, be like these people, and have what these people have.

In the next few blogs, I'm going to show this to you first hand. There are countless sex ads/commercials/media floating around, and we will be able to delve into these intimidating questions in a more reasonable and systematic way.
there's more to come...

The World is a Stage

Kenneth Burke was born on May 5, 1897. He was a major American literary theorist and philosopher
. Burke's primary interests were in rhetoric and aesthetics. He was heavily influenced by the ideas of Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Frederich Nietzsche.

Burke identified a revolutionary study of rhetoric- he believed that interactions in our contemporary world are, in some ways, "more complicated" than can be understood by viewing persuasion solely as the explicit, intentional acts which a rhetor directs to an audience.

The term identification became an important catalyst for Burke's philosophy. Burke explains identification as a process that is fundamental to being human and to communicating. He contends that the need to identify arises out of division; humans are born and exist as biologically separate beings and therefore seek to identify, through communication, in order to overcome separateness.

We are aware of this biological separation, and we recognize additional types of separation based on social class or position. We experience the ambiguity of being separate yet being identified with others at the same time: we are "both joined and separate, at once a distinct substance and consubstantial with another."
(Ambiguity plays a HUGE role in Burke's philosophy.)
Consubstantiality This is a term that Burke used to describe how we, as human beings, share a substance with each other. This substance can never be identical, but it can be share. We can find common ground in any situation bcuse we desire to be consubstantial with each other: Burke found a way to describe that human desire for a relationship, for a common ground, and for similarity.