Friday, January 20, 2012

Gendered Advertisements: Effective Advertising or Segregated Television?

While most people discussed the Radaway reading and I did find it interesting, especially the part about women "needing escape" from daily life translating to women being intrinsically geared to need more than nurturing responsibilities (48), the "audience" is much more interesting to me. In reading Gill, I have to agree with Ang that Radaway may have been too critical of the women in Smithton. Everyone needs an outlet from the stresses of daily life and I think the women were more interested in the "escape" than the specific ideological messages presented in the romance.

Also in the Gill article, the discussion of audience is very interesting to me. Something that has always fascinated me about media has been the commercials and advertising on television, which is largely influenced by the estimated audience. Personally, I watch a very wide array of television (some of which is geared toward men) and have noticed the differences not only in product advertised between the gender biases but also the differences in commercials for the same products/services.

Most recently, the 4G commercials have fascinated me. When watching a show designed for females, like Pretty Little Liars (judge me), this is the commercial they show
When watching a show designed for males, like Sports Center, this is the commercial they show. While women dominating the workplace using 4G is a pretty empowering commercial, yes, I wonder if it would be less effective to have a man and a woman in each commercial- men are obviously in the workplace and women do tailgate- as I feel that may be more gender neutral.

The question that present day commercials raise for me, in concurrence with the reading we're doing now, would be: where is the balance between commercials based on an audience and gender stereotyping? Obviously it is more effective to advertise to the audience that is watching the channel or show, but if Lifetime only shows commercials for laundry detergent, tampons, and Midol- what message does that send to the women that watch the channel or show? At the same time, if ESPN only shows commercials for Doctor Pepper 10 (watch this if you haven't), Old Spice, and high-powered deodorant, how will women watching be inclined to keep watching?

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