Momma Told Me: Good advertising makes you look twice.
Where to start, where to start?
Women have been objectified in advertising since the days of Mad Men, and it's very inception. I feel no need to dredge up all of the women's rights and morality of the topic of 'sex sells,' as I accept it to be a truth humanity has come to terms with long since. I also confess that I consider myself far from Conservative (in nature, not political beliefs), and generally believe that people should be allowed to do as they wish so long as they do not cause physical harm to others, or the belongings of others. Let us just say I, generally, support self expression.
I also consider myself a big fan of advertising, and I would agree the majority of our nation is as well, with the industry generating movement of over $1 TRILLION yearly. Let's face it, a 15 second slot during next year's Super Bowl is expected to run over $15 million in cost, and half of those watching will be more fixated on the ads than the sport itself. We, as a race, are far from the days of slapping the hands of young boys who steal mom's Victoria's Secret catalog, and what plays on TV during the average Monday night sitcom is more offensive than PG-13 deemed content just 20 years back. We could argue morality, but that's really not what I'd like to discuss today. For the sake of this post let's agree sex sells, and the placement of sex in advertising, specifically, is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Well, lately I've found myself quite vexed by two advertising campaigns some try to compare to those classic Old Spice ads. Again folks, I am not rising up against sex in media (that is an admirable cause for some, but not the focus of today's post). Here we have Kraft, specifically Kraft Salad Dressing turning a relatively lesser known print model into a YouTube sensation overnight. Without debating personal taste, Anderson Davis is a fair representation of one mold of the 'ideal man,' visually. As many Facebook Fans of the product note, women have been exploited on the TV and in print for decades (I'm never a supporter of the 'tit for tat' style argument, but, again, that is not today's rant). Assuming we, as humans, generally accept forms of sex in advertising, I wonder, where does it cross the line to being offensive.
Offensive in the sense that a brand or product has chosen to align it's otherwise not sexual related product, so closely with blatent sex, that it is, in essence, insulting it's consumers. This is outside of the fact that, sure enough, consumers WILL respond to this form of advertising; females will surely take note of a half naked guy on their television, and there is certain to be a mixed response. My issue with the most recent campaigns, are the seemingly unintelligent presentation of this blatant use of sex to sell. For those familiar with the recent Kraft print and video campaigns featuring what is known as the 'Zesty Guy,' the majority of these ads are nothing more than a topless (and sometimes much more less than a top) model holding, or near a bottle of Kraft dressing. I've yet to find the actual messaging of the campaign, or even plot within the commercials. It's quite literally, 'look at this sexy man, now look at our dressing.'
My circles have been so 'rocked' by the recent advertising campaigns featuring both genders, we thought we'd have a chuckle while giving Kraft a little advertising help. Above you'll see Jay and a friend of ours (yes, we're all in our 20's, no jailbait!) taking on their own dressing personas in what we've dubbed as #Krafting. There's planking, there's Tebowing, Cone-ing and so much more- now you can ad #Krafting to the list of nonsensical social media fads. So, we encourage you to grab your man, and a bottle of Kraft (or any dressing, really) and snap a topless shot and Kraft with us. Feel free to weigh in on my rant above, and send any #Krafting pictures to woodpress08 @ gmail.com; I'll be posting a follow up post in a few weeks and would love to share some of my readers submitted pictures.
What Daughter Says: Look twice, but with open eyes!