Marketing strategies or „How did THAT woman get there?“
Women play a major role in advertisement. Usually they are not taken seriously, but instead utilized as a seductive, desirable woman that meets all expectations concerning beauty and/or sex appeal. Sometimes, not even their face is illustrated, marketers cut out what is “dispensable” and reduce the models to one part of their body only. This Nescafé poster for instance, apart from the fact that any plausible link to the product is missing, degrades women to the status of an object, strictly following the sex sells strategy. Obviously, the intellectual capacity of women is not part of the feeling to be sold along with the product. Women are considered to be instruments to catch the target´s attention. But at least one important point is being made here: “Finally a coffee that fits all pockets”. I guess that is what all women have been waiting for. Coffee on the beach.
Second example: Lavazza, again a coffee brand, again a case of shameless use of sexual stereotypes against women. This time, it is not the reduction to one particular part of the body that is striking, but the fact that the entire image directly alludes to the widespread picture of the dumb blonde – a woman who is physically attractive but perceived to have low intelligence. No matter what the product is, a highly sexual direction dominates the marketing concept of many products. How far will the „sex sells“ trend go? Sure, for some products it might be even plausible to present women in a certain manner, but seriously – coffee?
But it seems like coffee advertising has always been an issue that displays sexist attitudes. This commercial from the 1960s defines the role of the woman very interestingly. Again, the woman is shown as if she was just dumb, incapable of making a “decent cup of coffee”, and – above all – obliged to please her husband (who is moody and rude). Finally a woman who knows her place in the world! But – how good for all women – this has changed a lot. The housewife has been replaced by the dumb blonde, the sex bomb, and the half-naked chicks.
The exploitation of female attributes for capitalist purposes should come to an end eventually. Marketing campaigns deeply coin the way women are perceived in society. Degrading them at any given opportunity is simply senseless and ridiculous.
Advertising sells more than products. It sells values and images – based on flawlessness (to women), and seduction (to men). The occident should think about this. Isn´t this another way, another extreme of dehumanizing women? Another sort of captivity, in which women are considered objects of sexuality, enslaved by society?