It’s no secret that commercial advertising is an effective way of getting consumers to buy a variety of products, concepts and ideas. This challenges advertising company’s to study and adapt to the changing social, economical and political points of view that are happening all the time. Stereotyping and gender norms portrayed in advertising have proven to be especially effective when targeting specific audiences. Historically, things like colors, textures, music, movies, cars, hair products, etc have been considered appealing to certain stereotypes of gender norms in order to make the most profit. For the more progressive company’s, adapting a more foreword thinking approach and conveying a positive message with their concept has expanded their audience to a variety of people and challenged the more traditional societal norms.
Here are a couple advertisements by large company’s that are influencing stereotypes and gender norms:
Audi Advertisment: “Daughter”
— Audi (@Audi) February 1, 2017
On February 1st, 2017 Audi posted a commercial with a titled called “Daughter” and a caption to go with it that said “Women are still paid 21% less than men. As a brand that believes in progress, we are committed to equal pay for equal work.
#DriveProgress” The video shows a female child among other male children, getting ready to soapbox race down a long, windy road. Her father is in the crowd cheering her on like the rest of the parents and other crowd goers. She travels down the path, beating her competition (other boys) to the finish line and is greeted and congratulated by her father. They walk proudly up to a car, promoting the Audi brand while also stressing the obvious issue of pay differences between men and women and showing that the Audi brand is on board with a progressive attitude towards equal pay. It’s a powerful message that says that they believe women and men are equal and should be treated with that same respect, and more specifically paid equally for doing the same work and achievements.
AXE Advertisment: “is it okay for guys…”
Another example of a change in attitude towards stereotypes and gender norms through advertising is this Axe (men’s grooming brand) ad. Many of their previous ads have shown men who exude all masculine qualities, experiences and physical traits. For example, commercials showing men using their products and magically being flocked by beautiful women, generally conveying the message that all men want woman to be attracted to them and using their products will achieve this goal. They are now showing a different take on what they think qualities define or don’t define as being a man. The ad consists of all types of different men showing sides that have traditionally been negatively stereotyped, opening the question of “Is it OK for guys?” for example, to wear pink, to like other men, to like cats, to have long hair, to just be who they want to be and still be considered “manly” in society.
These ads in particular are breaking down the stereotypes and gender norms in a forward thinking way, challenging the old ideas and coming up with a different way to sell a product, concept and idea to a broader spectrum of people.