THE WORLD OF ADVERTISEMENT HAS ALWAYS PLAYED GAMES WITH STEREOTYPES AND CLICHÉS TO REACH THE AUDIENCE’S HEART AND TO MAKE SIMPLER UNDERSTANDING THE MESSAGE THEY WANT TO SEND. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST USED TECHNIQUE BY PUBLICISTS WHO STUDY AND ANALYZE THE CURRENT TREND TO OFFER PEOPLE ADVERTISEMENT BASED ON SOCIETY’S COLLECTIVE IMAGINATION. IT’S A TECHNIQUE REFINED IN THESE YEARS, THAT INCLUDED NOT ONLY WORDS, BUT ALSO IMAGINES AND SOUNDS. ITS ONLY PURPOSE IS IMPRESSING AND SHOCKING PEOPLE.
Despite what many people may think, advertisements hurts not only the female figure with stereotypes. In fact, in the last fifty years men were pictured in an unfair and mundane way too. How has male figure evolved in the advertisement?
In the ‘80s, we see a man meant to represent a imagine of the welfare of the family and imagine of a perfect life. He was a man/animal with basic and primary instincts: to eat, to be a good husband and a good worker. American Malboro’s played games with this collective imagination and in the advertisement in 1986 it showed a charming cowboy as protagonist riding a black horse in a quiet countryside.
In the ‘80s, there were a deeply sexist advertisement with gender stereotypes and a blinkered distribution of roles. For example, children advertisement girls could choose seduction (make-up), house (cocking game) or reprodution (dolls). While boys can choose fast, competition (cars) and adventure, as we can see in the advertisement of “Masters – the dominators of the universe” of Mattel in 1985.
Then first colored adversitemens have appeared. While we’re singing the song “Macho Man” of Village People we move to the ‘90s. We can see an imagine of a ruling, seductive man, who saves the world with the name of 007 and a mustache of Magnum P.I. on a flamed red Ferrari. He was a handsome playboy, who didn’t need to ask something to get something.
In 1997 in Coca Cola Light’s adversitemen we see a sexy delivery man coming into an office full of women, while they’are staring at him and at his muscles with desire. In 1991 instead for Levis the actor Brad Pitt gets out from a prison without his jeans and meets a beautiful woman, crazy for this bad boy charm.
In the late ‘90s, there is a change: before we saw a strong and macho hero like Hercules (from the television series “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” of 1995) and then we see a clumsy man, a friend of women like Dawson from the television series Dawson’s Creek of 1998). That’s why we see in an adversitemen of Maxibon ice cream in 1998 a bumbling actor Accorsi is trying to hit on two beautiful girls.
Then what about today? Around the male figure there is a return to a virility and to a system of values that we thought buried. We see the alpha men winning, the playboy who has a perfect body and loves perfumes lying on the shore in bathing suit, the man became object next to the carrier man. The adversitemen of the perfume “One Million” of Paco Rabanne in 2015 is a perfect example, ‘cause we see a model who just snaps his fingers to get what he wants, like an expensive car and a extraordinarily beautiful woman.
In these last years a new movement is born: a reverse iper feminism, where the male figure kills stereotypes and tries to find revenge. So, we see the “dad advertising” for example, where men plays the father or the grandfather role as protagonist, in addition to the usual friend and the boyfriend role as appearance. A perfect example is the adversitemen of Extra’s chewing gum, where father and daughter are playing with origami inspiring a lot of tenderness.
Text by Giulia Lopopolo