Bringing the Zest or the Sex?

With competition in the industrial world, companies are willing to do anything to help push their products over the top.  But what gets products over the top?  Nowadays from companies selling watches to companies selling cereal the common factor is a vulgar gendered message.

After browsing around on the Internet, I came across many disturbing advertisements.  But just when I thought I had seen everything, I found one that really caught my attention.  The advertisement had a picture of an almost naked man lying on top of a picnic blanket.  Next to him was a bottle of dressing and other foods.

I thought to myself, What company is this man working for?!

KRAFT’S “Zesty” campaign man.

 Then in the top right corner in a small print, I saw the logo KRAFT and under it read the words “Let’s Get Zesty.”  I then did some research on KRAFT’S Zesty Italian dressing and a dozen different ads all with the same “zesty man” came up.  I was shocked because I thought it was outrageous that a company that sells dressing is using a naked man to sell their product.  This made no sense to me!

This ad is degrading towards men because it objectifies them.  Since I am a girl, I guess never really noticed and I was not really bothered by ads like these; but now that I have taken the time to analyze an ad like this, I now see that they are degrading. The zesty man is eye-catching and not hard to look at, but I know that if I only look at the ad in that state of mind, I will be falling into the same trap as every other women.

Also this ad is degrading towards women because of the gender stereotype that women would be the ones in the kitchen.  It is implied that women would be the ones who will need this zesty man to bring them this out of the world Italian dressing as well as satisfy any sexual fantasies.  I never came across a “zesty woman” and I know that it wouldn’t be hard to come up with one, but because of the gender stereotype it would seem unnecessary and out of place to market this dressing towards men.  An outside article by Libby Copeland comments on how a product is advertised can sway whether something is gender acceptable to buy.

From a quick glance at this ad it seems like nothing out of the ordinary.  But after taking a few more minutes to analyze and to reflect upon why this company took this kind of picture and what was their intention, can change one’s perspective on not only this picture, but also media itself.

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