Tag Archives: advertisement

Is Annorexia Funny?

As I was doing research on commercials and deciding which ones would be good to critique, I just happened to find this one that I think is really interesting. It is a commercial from Thailand, but even so, I think that it can be applied to our country as well.

Here is the commercial:

First impressions? I don’t know about you, but I thought this commercial was really disturbing. Before I start, let’s recap what we just saw in this commercial. In the commercial, we can see that this ultra-thin woman wants to eat food but is really limited to what she thinks she can eat. Due to the fact that she is limiting her food choices and quantities, she is also starving her stomach which is why her stomach is making such a desperate attempt to eat food. Whenever her stomach is denied food, her stomach cries and the advertisers’ solution is to eat low fat tuna (which is obviously the product that is being sold).

Now that we’ve recapped everything, let’s deconstruct this video and examine the messages within this video. First off, this commercial is socializing women to think that they are supposed to be ultra-thin like this woman. This commercial doesn’t tell them that they can be whatever sized body they want to, it tells them that this body type is something that has to be achieved and alternate choice to starving yourself is to eat light tuna.

Is this the type of relationship we want people to be having with food?

Food shouldn’t be something we eat in order to be pretty or sexy. Food should be something that we eat in order to be healthy and to satisfy our taste buds! It is due to this type of relationship that we as a society have created with food that we see so many health related issues that are linked to food (ex. Anorexia, bulimia, etc). Also, this is a very real problem within our society. According to Duke Medicine, about 10 million people are suffering from eating disorders (Eating Disorders). That is nuts! To make this even worse, a large portion of the affected population is between the ages of 15-24 (which is a really important time for our development) (Eating Disorders).

Wondering what makes this an even more real issue? What makes this even more of an issue is that people don’t find this commercial disturbing or wrong, it’s actually titled, “Funny Diet Commercial” on youtube.

 

References:

“Eating Disorders.” U.S. News Health . DukeMedicine, 28 Jan 2010. Web. 29 Apr 2012  <http://health.usnews.com/health-conditions/mental-health/eating-disorders&gt;.

SherryQiu. “Funny Diet Commercial”. 06 Oct. 2006 Online video clip. Youtube. Accessed on 23 April 2012. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OBPWUijk4M&gt;.

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Devour his junk………food

Now that I’m done with looking at print ads, I’d say that commercials would definitely have to be next.  Although I’m only going to be looking at a few examples, I do think that think that it is worth to examine commercials because they are a different form of advertising and have a different amount of viewers/consumers.  It is because of this reason that the commercials I’m going to be examining in the next few posts are from recent Super Bowls.

My first television ad that I’m going to analyze is a Doritos commercial in 2011.  First of all, the reason why I chose a food ad from the 2011 Super Bowl was because that Super Bowl had the biggest amount of viewers than any other game in the past.  In 2011, there was an estimated 111 million people watching the Super Bowl (Bauder).    That’s right, 111 MILLION PEOPLE!!  That is a lot of people watching the same program.  Keeping that number in mind, just think about how many people are seeing the same thing and how the media is influencing all of these people by the ads they post throughout the program.

With that in mind, let’s look at the ad:

As seen through the commercial and much like the print ads that I examined, there is a lot of phallic symbolism.  However, something else I see that is much more apparent and prevalent within commercials are the uses of stereotypes.

Examples within the commercial:

1)       What is the stereotype of black men and penis size?  The stereotype is that black men are supposed to have ENORMOUS penises.  During the commercial, we can see that the white man looks over to the black man’s crotch area and is shocked.  When we see this, we think that the white man is shocked to see the black man’s huge penis, while in reality he was just surprised to see a bag of Doritos.  Not only is this stereotype harmful because not all black men have big penises and such, but it also negatively affects the black community because they are going to be eroticized for their “big penises”.

2)      At the same time as being shocked, the white man just can’t resist the temptation to grab the Doritos, which we already know represents the black man’s penis.  Although many people may not catch on this stereotype/generalization in this action, there is a very real stereotype present.  The white man’s irresistible temptation to grab an unsuspecting man’s junk/Doritos is parallel to the stereotype that gay men are hypersexual and can’t control their urge to have sex with someone else.

But to go back to food, how the heck do these stereotypes relate back to Doritos?

Answer: Consumers are like gay men, and Doritos are like black men’s penises.  Doritos are so delicious and awesome that they are irresistible to consumers.

Now that I have presented all this information to you and shown you how this commercial can be negative, just remember 111 million people also saw this.  Think about what percentage got as much out of the commercial as I did.

References

Bauder, David . “Super Bowl 2011 Is Most Watched Program EVER .” Huffington Post. 07 Feb 2011: n. page. Web. 24 Apr. 2012. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/07/super-bowl-2011-ratings-s_n_819559.html&gt;.
2011DoritoCommercial. “The Sauna – 2011 Doritos Superbowl Commercial Ad”. 09 Nov. 2011 Online video clip. Youtube. Accessed on 24 April 2012. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1yk85znbpY>.

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Consenting Alcohol

Ok, so this is the last post I’m going to do in regards to print ads displaying food, gender, and sexuality. I chose this particular ad because it depicts two bodies which give a blatant sexual connotation to the product, much like the ad found in the “Rump or Ass?” post.

In this particular print ad, Añejo Tequila is being targeted towards the consumer. As seen in the ad, you can see that there is a suggestive image of a woman on the bed with her dress showing a lot of skin. On the other side of the ad is a man who is completely naked. Due to the symbolism in the ad, we can see that the bottle of tequila is a phallic symbol of a man’s erect penis. Another important part of the ad is the text that says “Extra Añejo for an extra long night” (Sharpe). Through all the suggestive material in the ad, you can assume that the two people in the ad are going to have sex because they drank this tequila.

However, once again there are many implications to this ad.

1) Due to the fact that these two people figures do not have faces and are completely reduced down to bodies…..aka objectification. Nowadays we hear about the objectification of women all the time, but in this instance we can also see the objectification of a man which is also problematic.

2) This type of ad creates a negative relationship to food. What I mean by this is that the ad tells the consumers that if they are planning on having an extra long night (meaning if they are planning on having sex that night), then they should drink their tequila. Let’s think about what this implies for a moment. It is telling us that we should always drink alcohol of some sort if we are planning on having sex, which is not the type of relationship people should be having with food, especially alcohol. Sure, alcohol might be able to give some people confidence and put them in the mood, but that is only in moderation and is partially psychological. Due to the fact that this ad says that people should drink and have sex, that is a problem in itself. It doesn’t reflect on the issue between the consumption of alcohol and sex. Alcohol can affect people in many ways and can blur the lines of consent, which is really problematic.

Reference

Sharpe, Gwen. “Non-Subtle Sex in Advertising (NSFW).” The Society Pages . W.W Norton & Company, Inc., 27 Jun 2008. Web. 18 Apr 2012. <http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2008/06/27/non-subtle-sex-in-advertising/&gt;.

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