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Influence of Advertising on the Male and Female Psyche

1271 words (5 pages) Essay in Sociology

18/05/20 Sociology Reference this

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Advertising is a form of communication intended to convince an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to purchase or take some action upon products, information or services etc.  What does the influence of advertising have on the male/female psyche on rather to buy a product or not.

Carl’s Jr. is a restaurant that sells food particularly hamburgers.  In one of their TV commercials there is a woman sitting on a motorcycle in her bikini with her legs cropped open holding a hamburger to her mouth.  This commercial is attempting to show people how appealing eating an hamburger from Carl’s Jr is by using a sexy woman with barely any clothes on as it appeals to male consumers as they attempt to sell food.  The people who made this commercial are first trying to gauge the attention of the audience by having a sexy woman in a bikini advertise the burger.  Before you even see the food product that is being advertised, you see the skinny, sexy woman on a motorcycle.  Now the audience is intrigued to see what it is that the woman is actually doing.  Now that your attention is focused on the girl on the bike, the advertiser has accomplished its goal by alluring you in to see what she is doing or saying. Now that the consumer’s attention is engaged, the food product can become the main focus.  But even if the food product does not become the main focus, the woman has accomplished a goal by getting attention drawn to Carl’s Jr, so not consumers want to know what the entire restaurant has to offer. 

Gender and sexuality has been a focal point for print ads and TV commercials since the early 1960’s.  What impact does a sexy commercial have on women opposed to men?  People remember ads with sexual overtones more than without.

The assumptions advertisers seem to be making to consumers that will be influenced by this commercial is that the food is so good that a swimsuit model will pose almost nude to get a get a bite out of the sandwich.  But as the appeal to men is to watch this type of commercial, women are perhaps turned off by the way the advertiser has used a skinny/sexy woman to advertise the food. There are also assumptions that parading a half-naked woman on a motorcycle will tip the scales and influence all genres of men.  From the trucker that’s always on the road, to a man that’s not happy in his marital life, my assumption is this commercial was gear strictly to win over the male consumers and it’s a stereotype that men eat more meat than women, therefore why not pinpoint the crowd of consumer this commercial will interest.

The way femininity is portrayed, especially as related to the body is the effects especially as it relates to her body are more negative than not advertisement has on women.  Women begin to feel worse about themselves after seeing a TV commercial for weight loss for example. When products are being promoted, whether it’s through a television commercial or an ad in the paper, often times the product is being targeted at an audience in a specific and sometimes discriminatory manner.

The portrayal of woman in commercial and print ad are not made up of how the average woman is made up. Commercials and ads tend to give a picture of beautiful woman and perfect shapes to advertise a project.  As in the film “Killing Us Softly”, the narrator states that “ugly women do not sell products in ads”.  This tells me that in order to sell any product, advertisers have to fake or tell half-truths as it relates to selling a product.  The more appealing, the more interest will be gauged by the audience.   The picture has to be appealing to the eye of the consumer that will view the product.

According to Introduction to Sociology, it states that Symbolic Interactionism focus on the meanings associated with sexuality and with sexual orientation. Since femininity is devalued in U.S. society, those who adopt such traits are subject to ridicule; this is especially true for boys or men.  Men in particular are visual beings, therefore it would be extremely hard to sell any product to a man without it being appealing to the eye.  The portrayal of women/girls in commercials and TV ads may be appealing to men, but it give women and girls the wrong impression of what it means to be beautiful and healthy physically and mentally.  The message that is being given through the media and through advertising is a major factor in women’s poor body image.

Advertisers use sex because it can be very effective,” said researcher Tom Reichert, professor and head of the department of advertising and public relations in the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. “Sex sells because it attracts attention. People are hard-wired to notice sexually relevant information, so ads with sexual content get noticed.”

The effects sexy ads have on those looking at the image are simply to get the consumer to buy the product and try it.  Although the product may never do what it claims, the advertiser has accomplished its goal of getting the product sold. Your mind is influenced so much by what you’re watching that at times it becomes addictive and unhealthy in nature.

For the past nine years, Carl’s Jr. has been using female models to promote their burgers. Specifically, they have been using bikini-clad women who seem unaware of the distinction between fast food and the male anatomy. Men seem to be more attractive to what they see that it entices them to buy things sometimes and make purchases that simply are not good for them or their health.

Sex is only a useful advertising tool when selling to men: “Males recalled sexual advertisements better and females recalled non-sexual advertisements better.”  Men are more likely to remember the sexual content of Carl’s Jr. advertisement,  the problem is they probably won’t recall the actual company that the commercials are meant to promote.  All that matters is there was a woman squirming around on a motorcycle in bikini around on the top of a car.

 The ultimate goal for the advertiser is to lure in the consumer with sexy images to gain their attention, and then introduce the product.  The advertiser has accomplished a goal of selling a product to make it as appealing to the consumer as possible; the same is true with kids’ commercials as for example with selling toys, men in commercials to get the attention of women to buy a product.  The same outcome will hold true, luring the consumer with baiting them on thinking the ad is about sex, but ultimately it’s about a totally different thing.

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