The representation of women in advertisement has changed throughout the centuries. In the early twentieth century women were known to be subservient and inferior to their husbands, whilst in the present century women are acknowledge as equal and talented as mans, completely going against stereotypes. These changes are present in advertisement such as Listerine, Folgers and diet coke which show the stages of change. Listerine In the 1920 Listerine advert it portrays women to be desperate for a husband by showing the model Edna can’t cope without a husband. The camera shot in the advert is long shot as it shows Edna body and background.
Edna is in a dark room and her hands have a grip on an open chest, which is empty because there should be men’s clothes in the chest. By the empty chest you could connote that women’s in the 1920’s are expected to have a husband in order to be joyful. This represent women at that time to be distressed and anxious for men’s attention because of society at the time expected women’s to be married before reaching that ‘tragic thirty-mark. ’ The Listerine advert sends a message to women’s at that time that they should be married because happiness only comes in marriage.
By using the words ‘pathetic Edna’ readers were expected to consider Edna’s story depressing because of her marital status: she was, after all, nearly 30 years old and still unmarried. What’s more, because of her halitosis, Edna had to be content being “always a bridesmaid but never a bride. ” This represent women in the 1920’s to be a easily deceived as Listerine used dishonest approach in the advert like the fact that they mention that the mouthwash cures dandruff. Women primary goal was to be a housewives and mother- if they couldn’t do this they were considered failure by society.
The Listerine advert uses fear to frighten women in the 20’s society because of halitosis in a social situation and women’s would often compare themselves to “Edna”, who approaching her 30th birthday was still single, due to bad breath. She was, they said, “always a bridesmaid and never a bride. ” This represent women’s in the 20’s society to have a simple goal that is to be married and have children and failing to have that met before they reach their tragic thirty mark would mean that something was wrong with them making them insecure. Folgers.
Similarly to 1920’s, the 1950s it was still considered important for women’s lives around their family and home. In the Folgers’ 1950 advert it demonstrates how inferior the wife is to her husband in the first scene. The wife is wearing scruffy clothing, which can indicate or connote that she’s deprived similar to the quality of her coffee. The husband is shown wearing a black suit which could signify control and power, making him more superior to his wife. The camera shot used in the scene between the husband and the wife is a two shot to demonstrate their relationship to the audience.
The husband is comfortable sitting, relishing his breakfast whilst the wife is standing and ready to please her husband with the coffee she made. This represents women in the 50’s as too eager to please their husband with a breakfast in the morning. The scene between the good wife and the bad wife you could pin point which one is the good wife by the costume; the good wife has put a ribbon in her hair and is a wearing an apron unlike the bad wife that is dressed in a shabby clothing and her hair is untidy. A long shot is used in the scene to show the performance of the characters and the location.
The good wife and the bad wife are in the kitchen. The bad wife is sitting on a chair and telling her problem to her friend, the good wife. The good wife is shown getting dinner ready to have a delicious meal ready on time for her husband return. This could be a way of letting him know that she is thinking of his welfare. This represents women to be more concern for their husband needs and is more desperate to please him. Women’s place in the 1950’s society was to be a housewives that catered to their husband’s needs, failing to do so would make you a bad wife until you succeed.
This is shown in the third and eightieth scenes were the wife costume change from shabby to beautifully dress because she changed the brand of coffee she has been using to Folgers. In the third scene a two shot was used to show the husband and wife character performance; the husband is position in the scene towering over his wife with a scowl on his face. This could connate that his disappointed and furious at his wife for making a ‘lousy’ coffee. The wife is position as a submissive to her husband because she keeping her eyes on him and her shoulder are slouched, which could connate fear and regret.