This is a written analysis of Sneeks ad campaign project, for our advertising and imagery class.
9 Feb. 2012
In analysis of my advertisements for the Sneeks campaign, I thought it would be best to use an analysis method that we have already been using in class, ideas presented in the video Codes of Gender.
What is perhaps the most interesting thing about my boys and girls ads is not what they have in common, but how they are different. I left people out of my first two ads for a purpose, how do we as as population know that this ad is a girl’s ad without a girl being in it or a guy’s ad with out a guy being in it? How is the girl’s ad directed to girls? From the video Codes of Gender, we are told that we participate in the gender roles that society has set up and expected us to act in. That particular style of boot that takes the background in the girl’s ad, in our society, is defined as female fashion, and it is only a style of shoe that females wear. Therefore, putting that type of boot in an ad is following the agreed rule of society that that shoe is feminine and therefore the ad would be socially agreed on as feminine. The purple background is also significant because in our culture, colors are gendered. Colors such as pink and purple that are tints and shades of primary colors red and blue, are typically viewed as feminine.
In the boy’s ad, the subject of gender is dealt with in the exact same way. The particular style of shoe in background is also associated with the style of shoe that typically males wear. So, in our society when this ad is viewed it would socially agreed on that this is an advertisement geared to males because it features the types of shoes that they typically wear or associate with shoes that males wear. The gray and concrete background of the boy’s ad is not meant to be a significant as the purple in the girl’s ad, however it is also a popular idea in American society that not only are colors gendered, but the having more color is considered more feminine then not having color. The gray background in the boy’s ad semiotically, is associated with absence of color, a socially male trait. Males, according to the standards described in Codes of Gender are supposed to be in control of their environment and not distracted. Color tends to distract viewers., especially male ones.
In the third ad, the ad directed at both male and female ads still features the American ideal of romantic love. American society loves the idea of a one true love, and that every boy and every girl can have the love life that they want to have. Though in terms of gender analysis, the two figures in the ad are seemingly androgynous. There are no gender- specific qualities that the figures possess, except for maybe the clothes that they are wearing and the position of the feet. According to Codes of Gender, the figure on the left would be seen as the masculine character because his feet seem more grounded, and the figure on the right as more feminine because the feet are off balance, making the figure on the right seem more supported by the figure on the left However, in the dim lighting the clothing can also seem ambiguous and gender neutral. The advertiser relies on the societal convention of the heterosexual relationship to make this ad successful, because the facial and upper body sex descriptions are not pictured in the advertisement. Based on the idea that heterosexual relationships are the majority of most relationships and most socially acceptable, viewers will most likely view the ad as inherently heterosexual.
Of all three advertisements, the advertisers seem as though they are trying to make only subtle differences between genders. In an effort to market the same type of shoe to both genders, I think that must be a necessity. The shoes can neither look too masculine or too feminine, or the product market decreases. By placing value on ideals that both genders are interested in, (romantic relationships) it takes pressure off the advertiser to find something that both marketable without discriminating too much within gender.
Ugg Shoes – http://www.flickr.com/photos/uggboy/4084468470/
Boys shoes – http://www.flickr.com/photos/svenjajan/5610209344/
Grey background – http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaireproductions/3421797999/
Purple background – http://www.flickr.com/photos/webtreatsetc/6226625548/in/photostream/
Couple background -http://www.flickr.com/photos/guitrento/2541144281/