As a society, we are constantly surrounded by advertisements promoting life(style), food, and beverage. These advertisements often appeal to the male audience while hypersexualizing women, in attempt to sell their product. While doing so, women are portrayed as a subordinate to men.
Axe is known for their advertisements where they hypersexualize women. The overall message is usually – “use our product and women will come to you.” In this case, with Axe’s Women Billions, “billions” of women are seen running to the one man who was spraying Axe. The advertisement begins with a woman running through the woods, like an animal hunting for prey by using her sense of smell. The camera focused on her body as she is ran and her body features were emphasized with slow motion. The women come from all around, from the woods to the waters, from all different directions. Every women is in a bikini with their model bodies and looks. They all have the look of determination on their faces as if they need to win at all costs. As they grew closer to the man, he seemed very surprised and delighted at the scene. He continued to spray Axe and opened his arms, as if he was welcoming the women. The advertisement ended with the line “Spray More, Get More,” or do they mean more women, more sex, more attention, more power? Axe uses these appeals to attract their male audience even though, realistically speaking, we know that spraying Axe will not attract billions of women. This sex appeal serves as a trademark of Axe and allows for the focus of an attractive lifestyle to men, supported by Goldman and Papson. Axe not only sells their product, but the lifestyle. As a carrier of ideology, this advertisement says a lot about what men are seeking.
Carl’s Jr is also known for their sexy advertisements although they are a fast food restaurant. They often feature famous women who are associated with being “sexy” in their ads and simply have them eat their burgers, but in a sexy way. Kate Upton is considered a sex symbol; and in this advertisement, all she is doing is eating a Carl’s Jr burger. She is eating at a drive in movie theatre by herself and she ends up taking off her clothes one by one because the burger was so “hot.” The camera zooms into her breasts, legs, and mouth as she eats and strips. By doing so, she attracts the gaze of a guy in the car next to her, who happens to be with his girlfriend. Kate Upton was so hot and sexy where he couldn’t resist.
Commodity feminism is to endow feminism into brands and objects, according to Golden, Heath, and Smith. Whereas feminism is advocating for womens’ rights, femininity is the traits that women exhibit according to societal expectations. In this advertisement, femininity is exemplified through Kate Upton. She is considered a sex symbol because of her “attractive” body, as defined by society, and these aspects are emphasized more so than the burger. With Kate Upton, Carl’s Jr was attaching sex appeal to their product and turns it into a commodity. In addition, she also attracts the female audience due to her ideal feminine image.
Bavaria used a Latina woman in their advertisement. It started out with two men sitting on the beach and then one reached for a bottle of Bavaria. He began to realize that the woman followed what he was doing to the bottle and he decided to use the bottle to have her reveal her body. He turned the bottle around and the woman turned around, showing her butt. Then he tilted the bottle and the woman would lay down on the sand. His last attempt was removing the label, hoping she would remove her bikini, but failed. She would look at him as she did it and teased him with her actions. By following his movements, she was doing what he wanted, listening to his requests. She can be seen as a subordinate to him and is identified with sexuality. She has the mainstream Latin look, as defined by Dávila, and models what is beautiful to mainstream standards – olive skin, dark hair, dark eyes, a skinny body, but a nice butt. A nice butt is very desired by Latinas and Latinos and in this advertisement, there are multiple close up shots of the woman’s butt, appealing not only to men but also to women.
Culture jamming is an “organized, social activist effort that aims to counter the bombardment of consumption-oriented messages in mass media,” as stated by Carducci. As an example, this image serves as a culture jam to the Carl’s Jr advertisement featuring Kate Upton. It pokes fun at the fact that the way she ate the burger was a “bite of patriarchy.” In addition, she was also able to avoid the messy-ness of eating a burger and be sexy with it.
The critique of these advertisements serve as a reflection upon our society today. Although the women in advertisements are hypersexualized, they reflect how we view women in society and how they serve as a commodity. Women are sex appeals and attracts the male audience with their physical looks, not saying anything about their inner beauty.
If I were to have a web video, I would incorporate the ideas behind the Carl’s Jr advertisements, but instead, with men being hypersexualized. In doing so, I would hope to make a statement about how women are represented in advertisements. For example –