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Ageism and gender stereotypes in advertising: cross-cultural analysis.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In continuation of yesterday’s conversation, La Classe will touch upon another radical difference on the way to the client’s heart on the example of differences in Europe and Russia. In Russia, today, ageism is atrocious. The sexuality of young women is exploited to advertise any category of goods: from underwear to insurance services, plus, undoubtedly, a gender stereotype adds. An analysis of the works of A. Dudareva and I. V. Groshev allows us to divide male images in advertising into the following categories:

1. A fat man - usually with a moderate brain capacity ; 2. A thin man - also not distinguished by his mind, as a rule, even more unmanly than the previous one; 3. A real man is slender, toned, moderately unshaved, with moderate hair on his chest; 4. A man is a specialist in any field (for example, a doctor). Female images in advertising (based on works) look like this:

1. Sexual object - acts as a trophy for men who, in order to possess this trophy, must buy the advertised product. 2. Fashion model - is, as a rule, an element of entourage. 3. The so-called "simpleton" - a woman aged about 30 years. Usually untidy. She listens the advice of the model on the TV and becomes a fan of the advertised product. The woman herself, for the most part, does not have the slightest significance; she is a product of male perception. The male character, in accordance with the principle of the prevailing ideology, cannot be subject to sexual objectification. Girls, see how this issue is resolved in Japan https://youtu.be/WQ0XQ1KHLQE

A review of 64 studies of gender analysis in the rest of the world gives a different picture. Chinese advertising portrays men in more professional and entertaining roles, while women are portrayed as shy and subordinate (compared to stronger roles for women in the United States). But overall, China has more similarities than differences in the image of women and men compared to other societies. Changing the role of men is perhaps the area of greatest interest in the past few years. More recently, in the 2015 Super Cup, an advertisement from Dove Men Care showed that men play softer roles, communicating with their children, were well received by society. Recently, it seems that we are seeing a broader view of the initial role of the “breadwinner” for men, thus updating the view of fathers. And if in Russia a young attractive girl is a guarantee of sale, in France, on the contrary, most likely it will be a woman of 50+. Aged fashion models are more often invited to be an ambassadors, for example, by jewelry brands. The logic is simple. Firstly, it is believed that a woman 45+ is more beautiful than 25. Secondly, their purchasing power, of course, is higher. Plus, aged heroes demonstrate intelligence, balanced decisions, product value.


Culturally yours,

Ana Antarès


Photo Credit (C) Harry Winston

©2016 by La Classe.