Tag Archives: phallic symbolism

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.


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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Bam! So if you thought all the other things I wrote about was boring then you’re in luck because I’m finally getting into the interesting parts of my blog.  In this section, I’m going to be analyzing the print ads and how they are sexualized and gendered.

Here’s my first example:

The reason why I chose this ad is that they are examples of food that have been gendered and sexualized without using any people.

The first ad depicts a product that is being advertised by Baileys, a creamy chocolate flavored liqueur that is made up of Irish whiskey and Irish dairy cream (Product and Company Information).  If we were taking this ad literally, we would only see top views of two glasses of Baileys with chocolate in the center, “The Milk of Ireland” in the middle of the ad, and a Baileys label on the bottom.  However, almost nobody reads ads like that.  This ad is extremely gendered due to its placement and symbolism.  The top view of the two glasses with Baileys symbolizes a pair of woman’s breast and the chocolate centers are representative of nipples.  While on the other hand, the Baileys label is a phallic symbol for a woman’s crotch area.  Due to the fact that there is no actual outline of a woman’s body in the ad, the consumer is left to imagine the rest of the “woman’s” body.  Although it may seem as though the consumer is left to their imagination as to what the outline of the woman is, they are actually guided in how they should picture the woman’s outline by the “The Milk of Ireland” text.  The main goal for placing the text in the middle is to help the consumer outline the woman.

Not only is this ad completely gendered in that it represents a woman, but it is also extremely sexualized.  Never in a million years would you see a woman show her bare breasts and vagina out in public (except for maybe at a nudist beach or something to that nature).  Yet in this ad, because we are left to our knowledge of what a woman’s body is and imagination, we can conclude that the chocolate centers are nipples.  The sole reason why this is an acceptable in the public is because not a real woman’s body.

But how do we know for sure that this was the goal of the advertisers?

We know that this is meant to be a woman because of the placement of the items in the ads is relatable to a woman’s body.  Let’s pretend that the items on the ad had been arranged differently.  When we rearrange these items, there is no longer any correlation with a woman’s body.


“Product and Company Information.” Baileys. R.A. Bailey & Co. , 2011. Web. 19 Apr 2012. <http://www.the-baileys-lounge.baileys.com/en-us/Product-and-Company-Information.asp&xgt;.

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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