Women in “Advertising frequently uses gender roles to promote products” (Eisend, Plagemann and Sollwedel, 2014) This is particularly prominent when looking at the gender roles of women in household advertising. It can be argued that gender stereotypes outline and influence stereotypical views in society (Eisend, Plagemann and Sollwedel, 2014) which can lead to the unfair and unethical portrayal of men and women. This element is especially significant in household advertising where it is heavily female dominated and gender specific due to the traditional societal norms and who the advertisement is targeted at. Courtney and Lockeretz conducted a study that concluded four major sexual stereotypes of women in advertising. “1.That a woman’s place is in the home. 2. That women don’t make important decisions. 3. Women are dependent on men. 4. That men regard women primarily as sex objects.” (Courtney and Lockeretz 1971)To an extent, these claims are still reflected in advertising today. The first three of Courtney and Lockeretz’ claims are generally exhibited across all traditional nuclear family representations in household product ads.  “In general, women continue to be portrayed in submissive positions to men.”  (Worell 2017) But the fourth claim remains absent in household advertising where the woman is made to look less sexually objectified, but more of a ‘selfless nurturer’ by providing for her family and fulfilling their needs before her own. “When the body is not being emphasized, the role of women as ‘sanitizer’ of home, clothing and family becomes the focal point.” (Worell 2017) Although the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) have metaphorically ‘pulled the plug’ on advertisements which encourage gender stereotypes such as a woman cleaning up after her family or a man, due to stricter rules in the UK from 2018 onwards. However the advertisement of household items such as cleaning products is still heavily female dominated, but there have been changes to accommodate the shift from traditional nuclear family views in an effort to clear up gender stereotyping. Since the ban, household focused ads have become more diverse in a bid to make sure “modern society is better represented in ads.”(Parker 2017)  However, the well-known Fairy Liquid ads have attempted to move away from their traditional misogynistic views of the ‘mother figure’ as the focal point of the ad, washing the dishes with little feature or responsibility of a male figure. “The way that women and men are cast as characters in commercials…can create or reinforce cultural stereotypes.” (Moriarty et al. 2011) The cultural stereotypes presented have the potential to control and shape society. Furthermore, Moriarty et al presented a study into gender representation which concluded that “although women are the primary purchasers, they are still underrepresented…and are cast as supportive counterparts to men.” (Moriarty et al. 2011)  The Fairy Liquid ad, coined the Fairyconomy Spaceship ad was first aired in 2015 and was unique in the sense that it featured a young boy telling his father figure that he wanted to make a spaceship out of the empty Fairy Liquid bottle although it was taking a long time to run out. Interestingly from this the boy and the father become the protagonists and the ad begins to take a modernised route. Knoll et al 2011 (cited in Grau and Zotos 2016) found that women were more likely to be…depicted as product users with domestic products and more likely to be portrayed at home in dependent roles. However, when looking beyond the narrative of the ad between the boy and his dad, it is clear to see that Fairy have subtly and almost subliminally  featured a mother figure, washing up at the sink in the background while the ad is taking place and is the only character in the ad who does not have her face shown, presenting a demeaning frame towards the female character.

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