Tuesday, 27 February 2007

As a follow on...

I believe one of the major causes of such inequality in release of emotion stems from our old friend consumerism. You watch a random group of adverts and, unless you're viewing a break in the middle of something primarily watched by men (again, half-time in some sports event for example) the adverts are mostly aimed at the females of the population.

The events aimed at the male demographic advocate traditional manliness (boys wear blue, girls wear pink) and competitiveness. Men are bombarded with so many messages of what is 'feminine', and therefore not for them.

Haircare (dyes, styling etc.) - These ads generally emphasise the importance of exterior beauty with lots of thin girls shaking their shiny hair around the place. Haircare adverts aimed at men are quite scarce. I remember a tongue-in-cheek one with Ben Affleck a few years ago were he finished with "Because you're worth it, too". Very cute.

Alas, that advert (like others aimed at men) was advertising anti-dandruff shampoo. Which is more aimed at not looking stupid than looking fantastic. Adverts like the Herbal Essences ones are seldom aimed at men. From these adverts it's easy to see why men don't feet on an equal footing with the ladies, and lots of them shy away from vanity.

V05 has recently broke this mould with their styling clay/gum/whatever ad, with the boy and girl in the strict Chinese school. Now, I use this product. It's great. However, the main issue with this advert is that it shows both a male and a female, so it's not really tipping the system on it's head. Just halfway around.

Health/Weight Loss: The same gig here. There's those Shredded Wheat adverts with Ian Botham, but they're more for old men who want to keep their heart ticking. The latest SW ad I've seen is a bunch of women saying how the simplicity of BitesizeShreddedWheat will help them keep their weight down.

There's never been a Special K man (that's a job I'd love. Wearing some red shorts, jumping into a swimming pool...).

The Coke Zero [bloke Coke, as some call it] adverts didn't really concentrate on the weight-loss aspect, whilst generally the Diet Coke ad campaigns press this aspect.

Fuck, if men took notice of the adverts it turns out we're allowed to like Mars Bars (women are too) but not allowed Malteasers.

The new Kinder Bueno advert emphasises the fact that it's low in fat and so girls can eat them quite freely. The only man involved if an attractive beau who bends over for their pleasure (again, why I don't get called for these roles I'll never know).

The Rustlers (unhealthy food - fast!) adverts are aimed at men. Most adverts selling alcohol are aimed at men.

In short, women are told to lose weight (I am not saying this is a good thing) while men don't face any such scrutiny. It'd be better if living healthy was stressed to both sexes, you ask me.

I could pluck more categories out of the media-sphere, but it'd take forever and be a bit like overkill. My point is that while women are offered a wide range of products in many different adverts (although, as Banksy says, most of them are telling women to buy their product or be inferior) men are sold a smaller range of products using either sex (tits) or competition (have a faster/better/more powerful/more expensive car/piece of clothing/CD/piece of electronic equipment than your mate) as the hard sells.

It's little wonder their behavior never changes.

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