CA 2 - Bolt

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Chestnut
1


Kara Chestnut

Dr. Delsandro

CA 2

April 1, 2013


I.


The first thing you are drawn to when looking at this advertisem
ent is not the
product, AXE. It is

the beautiful young lady. She is in
the center of the ad, leaning
against a maroon car with a sponge in her

hand. A
lthough she is already very tall,
her
height is
accented by the stiletto white high
-
heeled shoes she is wearing.
. You might
say she is

what the average guy dreams of
--

a tall, slender, Cau
casian, blonde
-
hair
ed

young woman.

Looking closer at her
,

you
notice she is wearing a pair of skin tight, pink, short
shorts. Along with the tight shorts that show off half of her butt is a very tight, small and
short white tank top. Her half
-
dressed appearance shows off her fit and toned body. Her
head is tilte
d toward the sky with her medium length, blonde, curly hair flowing on the
back of her neck. She has a huge smile on her face while nonchalantly looking at the
man to her right. With her left arm on her hip
,

leaning forward on her right arm, she is
scrubb
ing the car with a green sponge. There are suds all over her hand as she
continues to wash the car.
Her left leg is bent backward

and lifted up in the air at a slight
angle.

The car, also located in the middle of the advertisement
,

is a smaller compact
ca
r, kind of like a Mini C
ooper. It is a two
-
door

model
, maroon in color
,

with a hatch
back door. The tires are dark, shiny
and
black with so
me kind of logo in the middle of

the silver hub cap.
The top of the

maroon car is white
,

along with the side strips o
f the
hatch back door. When looking

inside

the car
, you

notice the light grey interior that
wraps around the two front seats. It is being washed by the beautiful young woman as a
man stands by and watches her every move.

Underneath the car is not a typica
l driveway. I
t is
a
c
obblestone surface

with tan
and grey stones.
On the stones lies

a red hose that is being used to wash the car.
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2


There is also a red spray bottle sitting
nearby
on the ground.
The cobblestone

driveway
leads up to a white stone house. It
is not a multi
-
stoned sto
ne house; it is

more like one
big stone or concrete structure.
The

house has some green plants and shrubs growing
in the front

yard
. It also has a balcony or sun roof
, which means it is a two
-
story home.
There is a huge square arch
way leading to the doorway of the house and a rectangular
glass window to the right of the door. It could be located in a rural area becaus
e there
are no surroundings, neighbors or nearby

roads.

On the other side of the car is a man. He is standing in back

of the car but in front
of the hous
e. Wearing a causal baseball T
-
shirt

with a white body and green sleeves, he
stands with his arms resting on the top of the car. Doing nothing but watching the
beautiful young lady, he has a huge smirk on his face. He lo
oks slender and has dark
hair that seems to be held back with some kind of hair product.

The sky up above the two people looks kind of dim, almost kind of cloudy. There
is one cloud in the top left of the sky. In the
back right area of

the ad, there is a
beam of
bright li
ght
--

an area where the sun is trying to push through to brighten up the day.

In the top right corner of the sky, right above where the beam of light is coming
through
,

there are three lines of te
xt. They read, “Save on your AXE, Save on
Car
Washing. New AXE

Compact $2.50
.”

Beside these lines
of text is a small image of a

new AXE

product. It is in a blac
k bottle with a rounded top and

a red swirl on the right
side. Printed vertically along the bottom

are the words
“AXE

Compact.









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3


II.



AXE is known for its

sexually sugg
estive advertisements, but the

newest one will
knock you off

your feet. The new product

on

sale is a compact size of AXE
,

and
the
slogan

reads, “Save on your
AXE, Save on your car washing.” T
he

main viewpoint of
the

ad is
a tall, beautiful young girl washing a man’s car. She is wearing sho
rt shorts, a
tight tank top and

high heels. This ad
,

along with the slogan
, suggests

that males are
the dominant figure in our society and women will do almost anything for them. They
can
spend less money on a product and still have women flocking to
help with
their
every need and desire.
Therefore, the in
tended audience for thi
s ad is male; to be more
specific,

it targets young males in their 20
s.


If you were a male
, you would

w
ant the
satisfaction

of
saving money whil
e still
smelling good and
gettin
g women to do anything you want.

AXE believes every man
wants this
,

and by putting

this ad out in the public eye, the company believes every man
will flock to buy its

new item.
But
the

AXE
ad

isn’t just about flocking to this new product
.
AXE is selling sex
,

and of course
,

sex sells.
The main attention
-
grabbe
r

is the stunning
half
-
clothed
girl
washing a man’s car
. When men see this
,

they want to see more, know
more and most importantly
,

find o
ut how they too can get the same treatment. So when
they see the girl associated with a man who is wearing this product
,

men instantly
receive

the unspoken message of the ad
--

buy me
,

and you too can have a gorgeous
female coming to your every need.


The man portrayed in this ad is a typical man, nothing special. He is wearing a
casual baseball
T
-
shirt, green and white in color
,

with his dark hair slicked back with
some gel while he watches this beautiful, young woman wash his car. In reality
,

most
peo
ple know a man like this would never get a woman like that. So again
,

male
consumers begin asking themselves how they can be like that guy.

One simple answer
seems to repeat itself over and over again. Buy AXE!


After a man buys

AXE and puts it on, he bel
ieves he will get

a lot of attention
from the ladies and much more
. In this advertisement
, the young man in his 20
s gets
this beautiful woman to wash his car
,

but he also gets fame. He is standing in front of a
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4


very nice house. This is not the average hous
e that everyone lives in; there is no little
house on the prairie with the white picket fence. This home would be considered very
expens
ive, a little vacation home for

a
n actor or athlete
. The glass panel window
s make
this home look even
more expensive. Th
is advertisement gives the message that

AXE
can change your whole life


beautiful
women
will love average men, and

life will only
continue
to improve.


This advertisement is also selling the idea of traditional gender roles. Underneath
all of the seductiv
e poses to sell this new product, traditional gender roles continue to
shine through. The woman in this advertisement is cleaning, taking care of her man and
the home. She is washing the man’s car while he stands back and relaxes. She is not
doing this as
a side job or hobby; she is not getting paid or really getting anything in
return. The only thing she receives for doing this is happiness because by making her
man happy
,
this in return will make her happy.
This just shows how much control men
have

over w
omen. By
having the man standing back

watching the woman wash the car
,
the advertisement

shows the power the man has over the woman. She has to do
anything he wants in order to have a happy, successful life.


In conclusion, there is far more to this
advertisement

then meets the eye at

first
glance. AXE is
,

of course
,

tr
ying to sell its

product
, But it is really

selling sex. By
portraying this new product in a sexual way,

more and more men will flock
to

buy it. Our
society will never leave behind the t
raditional gender roles that have shaped our country
in
to what it is today.
This is why the woman is still cleaning and taking care of her man
while he stands back and watches.






Chestnut
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III.


Every action has a consequence.

This is

true for things that are intenti
onally
done, as well as

for

things that are
unconsciously done
.
Advertisements are probably
best known for their unconscious
suggestions.
Consumer
s
take

these hidden messages
and make their own assumptions about how to live their lives.

A
XE

advertisements are a perfect example of how assumptions shape
consumers


lives. In the specific AXE advertisement I choose
,

there is a beautiful young
woman
wearing

very little clothing,

washing a man’s car as he stands back and watches
her every move. “
M
en
look at

women
. Women watch themselves being looked at. This
determines not only the relations of men to women, but the relation of women to
themselves” (Wolf 58).
When little children look at these advertisements
,

they receive a
social script of how the
y are supposed to act, how they are supposed to dress and how
they are supposed to treat the opposite gender.
From early on, boys

will look at this and
see how the man is in control. He gets to look at whatever he chooses
. W
hen girls look
at the same
advertisement
,

they see something completely different. They will also see
the man, the one who is in control
,

but they
see something else
--

themselves having no
control over the sit
uation. They look at themselves and realize they have no control over
who

looks at them.

Women not only see themselves as something to look at
, but also as
maid
s
.
Young girls look at this advertisement

and

identify themselves with the

beautiful

young
woman washing the car. But

they also look at their mothers and identify with t
hem.
They
see the young woman trying to please her man; taking care of household chores so he
can relax after he gets home after a long day at work.
After looking long and hard at this
advertisement
,

they look at their mothers and see them going to work al
l day; trying to
make enough money to provide for them. This just shows how hard women have to
work in our society today. “
Women

work hard

twice as hard as men” (Wolf 22).

They
must do everything they need to do for their job
s,

and when they return
home th
ey must
continue to work

long and hard to take care of the
ir families
while
still
looking good.

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6


Double standards are placed on young girls and women all of the time. They
must do this, this and this while doing something else. Doing twenty things at once
must
not be good enough because on top of everything they need to do, they must continue
to look good.
“It is no accident that so many potentially powerful women feel this way.
We are in the midst of a violent backlash against feminism that uses images of female
beauty as a political weapon against women’s advancement: the beauty myth” (Wolf
10).
The

“Beau
ty Myth”
uses images just like this AXE advertisement to show women
from early on how they are supposed to act

and dress.
This specific advertisement is
unconsciously

saying telling

young girls
that men notice women in skimpy clothes, and
they

must perform

certain behaviors in order to make the opposite sex happy.

Boys
,

on the other hand
,

have it 10 times easier than girls. They see this
advertisement and think to themselves,

I just have to stand there and look good.


And
to look good, all they have to do

is buy AXE. They see this advertisement and think,

WOW! I can still get all the attention I want, have women come to my every need and
desire and save my money.


This
,

in return
,

makes them feel powerful and tough. It
adds to the stereotypes that all men

are macho and can do anything they want.

In conclusion, advertisements might seem harmless and innocent
,

but they are
full of consequences for everyone.
Future generations

will look at these advertisements
and receive the same unspoken social scr
ipts tha
t
previous generation
s

received. Girls
will look at advertisements that are geared toward men and receive the “Beauty Myth”
that their mothers and grandmothers received in the past. It doesn’t matter if you are a
male or a female
. T
here is no escaping
a

future that has been already decided for you
by the media.






Chestnut
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Works Cited

Wolf, Naomi. “Culture.”
The Beauty Myth.

New York: William Morrow and Company,

Inc.,

1991. Print.

Wolf, Naomi. “The Beauty Myth.”
The Beauty Myth
. New York: William Morrow and

Company, Inc., 1991. Print.

Wolf, Naomi. “Work.”
The Beauty Myth
. New York: William Morrow and
Company, Inc.,

1991.

Print.


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