Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Gender in Super Bowl Commercials

                This post relates more to last week’s topic of gender norms and the man-box, but I think it’s relevant anyway.
                There were two super bowl commercials that really caught my attention for the way they portrayed genders, particularly males.
                First of all, the Axe commercial, called “Find Your Magic.” This commercial could be super empowering to both men and women. I certainly felt inspired by it. The commercial starts off questionably, showing a billboard with models. However, it then goes on to question that standard. “C’mon, a six pack? Who needs a six pack when you got the nose?”
                It then goes on to discuss a bunch of awesome qualities a man could have that aren’t muscles and strength. It talks about rocking heels, cuddling kittens, being fashionable, and having intelligence. It ends with the line “Who needs some other thing when you’ve got your thing?” which I think is a great question and I am totally going to start thinking about that.
                This commercial isn’t going to start a revolution. It certainly doesn’t touch on many topics. It’s mostly about different ways to show masculinity and impress women. However, I think it is a great step in the right direction, especially by a company that’s known for using “man-box” qualities to sell their product.
                In contrast, a Hyundai commercial called “Ryanville” did not break any barriers concerning gender norms. I have nothing against Ryan Reynolds, but in this commercial a town full of his clones is the perfect town. He is portrayed doing a lot of masculine activities, like playing football and working on construction. The women in the commercial seem so distracted they almost hit a version of Ryan Reynolds walking a lot of dogs. If that is the perfect town, I’d hate to think what people who don’t look like Ryan Reynolds think about themselves after seeing that commercial.
                It’s not completely adhering to gender norms. Some of the clones are friendly. They aren’t all violent and angry.
                Fortunately, I didn’t notice any commercial during the super bowl that was over sexualized or really terrible for either gender. The halftime show was certainly a great statement about LGBT rights.
Here is the “Find Your Magic” commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzTSE6kcLwY
Here is the “Ryanville” commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih4VYnbm6Sw

1 comment:

  1. Caitlin, I think your comments about these two commercials are very insightful and interesting. I think that Axe took a huge risk in creating this sort of commercial, particularly during the Super Bowl, the most "manly" event of the year. I have not heard much backlash personally about this commercial but I am sure there are many men who are upset or mad about it because it doesn't included endless amounts of girls and masculine men. Like you said this won't solve the issue of the man box, but having this opinion displayed to such a large audience will definitely get people thinking,