Archive for the ‘Madeleine’ Category

Old Spice Ad

I really wanted to write about the super well-known Old Spice “guy on a horse” ad, but Feminine Things has already written a really good post on the topic. I still want to share with y’all, though. Watch the video, then read her hilarious post on how ads like this enforce ads about what a “real” man/woman is.

And enjoy my tag cloud of the commercial, see if it makes you think of the ad in any different ways.


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Is there a difference between the way the same fragrance (or rather, the same name, i.e. Guilty) is marketed to men and women? Clearly the women’s fragrance will be more “feminine” and the men’s will be more “manly”, but are there deeper differences in what men and women are perceived to want, fundamentally? Are these fragrance ads doing the work for men and women in deciding what they want and what is important for them, and in doing so influencing everyone?

Gucci Guilty for Men and Women: In the For Men print ad, the man is looking straight at the camera, not seeming to show interest in the woman he is with. It’s impossible to see whether he’s touching her or not. He looks smug, almost as if he’s sharing a secret with the camera that the woman is disposable.

In the For Women print ad, the man and woman are intertwined, clearly having sex. She has her arm around his neck and his hands are all over her. She is looking straight at the camera, same as the Man version. The man looks much more interested in her than in the Man version as well. It looks like they’re doing and feeling the same, as opposed to the Man version in which the woman looks much more interested than the man is. The “secret” feeling in the Man version is present in the Woman version as well, but that’s expected because the title is Gucci Guilty. It’s implied that these two are both doing something they shouldn’t be. The difference is really in how it appears they feel about each other. In the Man version, it seems as if her sees her, as engaged as she is, as disposable, and in the Woman version he seems much more interested in her.

Does this say something about what men and women are perceived to want? Men are fine with casual sex and women tend to get more emotionally involved? Does it provide any insights into why men and women cheat (or what the popular opinion is, anyway)?

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Even Angels Will Fall

Oh, Axe. I don’t get it. Sometimes I think their ads must be the product of a bunch of bored ad executives having a laugh at the rest of us who are taking their ultra-sexualized ads seriously. I mean, seriously, the Cleans Your Balls campaign? Or Get Clean to Get Dirty? There’s a commercial for that one in which every woman on the beach with the guy who used Axe products all take off their swimsuit tops upon smelling him. I must admit though, after watching the Axe Cleans Your Balls press conference commercial, I couldn’t help but laugh. And then feel like I was maybe a little bit dirty.

And now there’s the Even Angels Will Fall campaign, meant to promote AXE Excite. It is a fragrance “so alluring, even angels can’t resist it.” The commercial depicts angels (extremely attractive women) falling from heaven to earth, into the midst of “normal” people who are uniformly unattractive to average looking. The angels walk through the streets only to stop at one man, and upon seeing him they grab their halos and throw them to the ground (all the while looking at him as sensually as possible, of course).

It’s pretty obvious what this commercial is supposed to mean. Axe isn’t one for subtlety. If you use this body spray, women–even those women who would normally be too pure, innocent, or good for you will be overcome by a power greater than themselves upon smelling you and want to throw their morals away and have sex with you immediately.

Is this filling consumers’ heads with unrealistic expectations? Do people actually take this seriously? What effect will this have on consumers’/viewers’ abilities to be satisfied in relationships?

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Calvin Klein: MAN

In case anyone was wondering what men look like, Calvin Klein has helpfully released a fragrance, Calvin Klein: MAN, with an ad campaign that leaves nothing to the imagination. Apparently MEN have short hair, a smoldering gaze, strong jaw, and most importantly, are ripped.

What does this ad mean? Does it represent what men look like, or what they feel they should look like? What effect do ads like this, especially with a title that describes half the population, do to the perceptions of not only those who identify as men, but also those who are attracted to men? Will this ad leave the 99.9% of those who identify as male and do not look like this feel like they are somehow unworthy? Feel as if they don’t look as they¬† are expected to?

When writing this post, I was interested to see if there was a “Woman” fragrance. I searched but I couldn’t find anything. Finally, I found two fragrances with “woman” in the title, but with descriptors. Does this say something? Is it more acceptable for women to be different and yet still be seen as women?

Unforgivable Woman and Cool Water Woman (whatever that means):

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