Please use the comments function to post links to advertisements (still or video) that we can discuss in class Wednesday as examples of the way ads appeal to gender. Look particularly for advertising of “beauty products” (perfumes, cologne, body washes, shampoos, soaps, deodorants, etc.)

Diane Barthel observes that because ads directed at women sometimes use male imagery (and vice versa) we might more accurately speak of “two modes” of advertising that “do not result from the differentiated nature of the sexes, but from the logic of the system. The relationship of Masculine and Feminine to real men and women is relatively arbitrary” (172). Feminine mode advertising emphasizes passivity, complacency, and beauty. Masculine mode advertising emphasizes power, precision, performance.

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About Michael K. Johnson

Michael Johnson is Professor of English at the University of Maine at Farmington.

28 responses »

  1. Michael K. Johnson says:

    Please post your links as a comment to this post.

  2. jennaw10 says:


    Dodge commercial


    I thought this response was a funny come back to the previous..not a real ad.

  3. The Miss Dior Cherie fragrance commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oWGD5yYS9g

    Cracked Article – Brainwashing

    * The preceding isn’t necessarily an ad, but it’s a really interesting article I stumbled on this afternoon that looks at the types if messages we subliminally receive from the products we buy or are exposed to. Sleeping pills and their boxes are blue because we associate the color blue with peacefulness and sleep, etc. If sleeping pills weren’t blue, they wouldn’t appeal to us or work as well as we think they do now. I thought maybe this might be something interesting to look at in class if we had the time.

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