The three gender-specific adverts that I am going to analyse are the two given out in class, a nail varnish for women and a face care product for men, and one that I have chosen myself, a nutritional product for men. To be specific, the advert that I chose myself is marketing a range of nutritional products that can benefit men specifically. The advert comes from the football magazine FourFourTwo. This magazine is primarily aimed at men as most of the adverts in the magazine are similar to the one that I have chosen.
This advert has particular qualities that make it only attractive to men. The advert uses a famous athlete to promote the product – Mark Foster. Very few women would have heard of this man but all men who would buy this product would have probably heard of him. The advert highlights his career achievements in the advert – that he was world record holder eight times in his event and a world champion six times. This is effective as an advertisement tool because the reader of this advert could conjure up thoughts in his head about being able to be a world champion if he used the product.
This advert clearly sells an aspiration which is subliminal and not obvious to the viewer. This advert is identical to the nail varnish advert in the way that it sells an aspiration to the consumer. Josie Maran is used as the celebrity endorsement in this case. She is a famous model who a lot of women would be aware of through having read “women’s” magazines. Most women would like to be as beautiful as she is and the advert plays on this aspiration by using her to promote the product.
The third advert, for face care, also sells an aspiration but doesn’t use a celebrity. Instead of a celebrity, the image of a good-looking man is used but still creates an aspiration. This is to be as good-looking, seemingly successful and as happy he looks in this picture. The two adverts that I was set both use the same techniques to promote their product but apply them in different ways to appeal to a man and a woman. They both use images of people that point to the chosen product to draw attention to it.
They both cleverly use colours to attract their product to the target audience. The women’s advert has a light pink background which feminizes the product and perhaps tries to make a woman feel comfortable about it by making it feminine and to reinforce that women use it so the reader shouldn’t feel uncomfortable using the product. The men’s advert has a silver and blue colour scheme which is very masculine. This helps to reassure the consumer that they are not being girly or feminine by using the product and are still a ‘real’ man if they use it.
Another example of this is that there is emphasis on certain words in the advert which reiterate the masculinity of these products. In my chosen advert, the word just is underlined before men and the product is named wellman which is mentioned many times throughout the advert. In the face care advert, the word MEN is used several times and is always used in capital letters to stand out. These two adverts do differ though in how they describe their chosen product, but the two men’s adverts both use the same technique in this case. The positioning of the wording is different in the male and female adverts.
The male adverts both have their descriptions in sentences and paragraphs whereas the female advert has its description throughout the advert rather than in one particular place. This is perhaps because male and female brains work in different ways. As a man, I am happy to read paragraphs of description in an advert but perhaps women are not as willing to. They both describe their product in a simple way and don’t include technical details. The face care advert says, “It contains stuff that protects against all sorts of pollution. ”
This is perhaps because of the male mindset that: “I do not care how it works as long as it does. This is unlike the female advert. Women like to know what is in the product that they are using so details of the product are interspersed in the advert. “Multi-faceted diamond shine reflects light from every angle for up to 5 days. ” Wording is a focal point in the female advert but isn’t a major selling point in its male counterparts. Words such as “divine” and “sparkling” are used to create images of the product in the audience’s head. There are also sparkles on words such as “diamonds” and “shine. ” This suggests that there could be diamonds in the bottle which makes the product attractive.
The two male adverts have a line or catchphrase unlike the female one which you are drawn to the first time you look at it. The positioning of these lines are different but the use of colour and images makes them both noticeable. The face care advert has its writing in blue on a background and in a text box of its own. The actual text contains a colloquialism, “Party like the stones,” which makes the advert more appealing. The text is written in capital letters whereas the other writing is not so it stands out. The image of the man above it seems to point to the writing as well which makes the audience drawn to the text.
The main line in the nutrition advert is also carefully placed because it is in the middle of an article. It is on the turn of the page so the reader instinctively turns to the top left of the page to read the rest of the article. Instead, they read the line, “advanced nutrition just for men. ” Most men would then continue to read the advert instead of carrying on reading the advert as I did when first caught sight of it. This line describes the product simply and effectively and seems to lead onto the image underneath and to the rest of the advert.
The white on black colour scheme makes the advert look elegant and attractive. Sexuality is used in all three adverts. Each of these adverts have a sexual element to them in that they appeal to the intended sex to make them striking to others. The nail colour advert, however, appeals sexually to males by using an alluring model to endorse it. The primary audience for this particular advert is women, but perhaps men could also buy it for their wives or girlfriends because they see a beautiful woman and automatically think that the product must be good as a result.
There are strong relationships between images and text in the two adverts that I was set but less so in my chosen advert. In my chosen advert, the text and image all seem part of the advert and the image does not highlight anything specific. However, this is exactly the case in the other two adverts. Both people in the advert have their mouths open and pointing to the product as if they were about to eat it. This draws the reader’s attention to the product and perhaps makes them subconsciously thinking that the product is good enough to eat.
The nail colour advert reinforces gender stereotypes as it uses a pink colour which is stereotypically feminine. It reinforces the message to women that they should make themselves look beautiful for the opposite sex. The use of a successful and also attractive model shows this to women. It also reinforces the female stereotype to men that it is normal for women to make themselves look beautiful and that they can buy these products for girlfriends and wives. I personally think that the face care advert is reinforcing a modern gender stereotype of a man.
The modern man is stereotypically supposed to look after himself these days which wasn’t the case twenty years ago. The advert still uses past gender stereotypes in its use of blue and silver in its colour scheme but uses current stereotypes that he should care for himself more than he used to. The nutrition advert does not reinforce current gender stereotypes but I feel that it would if it were published in five years time. Men aren’t widely using nutrition products currently, but in five years I think that, again, the modern man will be using nutritional products.