When analyzing the advertisements in class there were 2 very distinct categories we could choose to put them in, targeted to males and targeted to females. When looking at some advertisements they seem to fit into neither of these categories and this got me thinking about how the short story Blind and Dumb Criticism fits in.

When you are limited to having only two categories to fit something into you limit your own scope of looking at the item in question. For example when we look at the image I have added in the post you can tell it is an advertisement that is made for women but it could also be geared to men to tell them that if you buy this perfume for your significant other they will be all over you.

The story of Blind and Dumb Criticism fits in with this because this story talks about critics not understanding the material that they are hired to critique whether it be a book, a play or a piece of art. When we were in groups in class my group had a hard time when we had a hard time with the advertisements that were feminine looking but were geared for males. I feel that if a group of 7 people who’s sole purpose were to figure out who an advertisement was geared for had a hard time figuring out what the articles intentions were then a consumer who was merely flipping through a magazine would not take a second glance at an advertisement that they did not understand.

Barthes states “You can of course judge philosophy according to common sense; the trouble is when common sense and feeling understand nothing about philosophy, philosophy, on the other hand, understands them perfectly.” Taking this excerpt from Blind and Dumb Criticism we can see that there is always the side that the publisher and manufacturer want us to get out of the advertisement and the side that the consumer will get out of the advertisement. The goal is obviously to make these the same but rarely does this ever happen.

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One response »

  1. Michael K. Johnson says:

    An interesting ad, but I’m not sure that the “Blind and Dumb Criticism” essay is the best one to use to discuss it. I agree that the addressee of the ad is not clear. Is this fragrance for men or women? Who is being “scent” to bed? I just had a quick look at the fcuk website, and they describe themselves as being a “scent for the sexes.” The fact that it’s difficult to determine whether the ad is meant for men or women is intentional, it seems, as they market their product to both “him” and “her.”

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