Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Board Games

Posted by willwalters441 on March 5, 2015

I might not always win at board games, but at least I always win on TV. Well, my gender, at least.  As a kid watching TV, one of the things most commonly advertised was board games. And, at the end of each ad there was a kid shouting “I won!” just to convince you that, yes, this was a game that would allow someone to win at the expense of everyone else. (Who would want any other kind of game?) Inevitably, the person shouting “I won!” was male. Now, I get the idea. The companies are marketing mainly to boys with the board games, so they’d want to appeal to them as much as possible. At least, that’s what I hear for everything else. But board games make less sense to me. Everybody likes board games. Like Hungry Hungry Hippos, a game that I still love despite those hippos almost eating my finger on more than one occasion. But everyone likes Hungry Hungry Hippos, boys and girls alike. I don’t claim to know exact sales figures or anything, but it seems like it’d be a pretty even split. So why can’t Hasbro let a girl win at Hungry Hungry Hippos for once? Beats me. My only guess is that little boys are way more annoying than little girls. So if a company wanted to win someone over that would be really good at annoying Mom into buying Hungry Hungry Hippos, I guess you’d do it through the boy. Still, though, it would be nice to see the girl win once in a while.

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Posted by smileytristan on March 5, 2015

This got me thinking of the Coca-Cola commercial from Superbowl 2014 that celebrated how richly diverse America is, to the tune of “America the Beautiful”. Mixed reactions aside, it shows the shift that many marketers are making regarding commercials – to celebrate diversity, to promote positive vibes, to show they are interested in people’s lives and society at large. Or, at least, this is what I think.

Gender-based ads have always been around, because we as a species do exhibit sexual dimorphism. Both the sexes want and need different things, and there is nothing wrong with advertisements reflecting that, in and of itself. What IS a problem is promoting that a woman “needs” to be a certain way, that a guy MUST act masculine all the time in every avenue of life. Stereotypes are the problem, whether they be race-based, gender-based, sexual-orientation-based, whatever. Sure, things were different 30, 40, 50 years ago, but our world is changing at such a rapid pace, and the “social justice warriors” are advocating for every mass media thing to think about how racist, sexist, or homophobic their endeavors might be. For better or worse, our society today walks a fine line between tolerant and overly PC.

And yet, while nearly every company will avoid offending anybody for risk of losing business and faith from customers, there is still such a high degree of ads geared toward traditional ideas of what a particular gender SHOULD be like. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has a problem with this.

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Gender Based Advertising Then and Now

Posted by sharaelder617 on March 5, 2015

It’s very obvious that advertising is basically everywhere you go nowadays and it is also obvious that some advertisements are tailored towards men and some towards women. These gender tailored advertisements often perpetuate stereotypes and aren’t really progressive. A commercial by Always that I’ve recently seen that I actually like a lot is attempting to bust up stereotypes around doing things “like a girl.” It included young girls and young women and they were both asked to do different tasks like fighting or running and do them “like a girl.” The young women did these things in way that would be perceived as girly and the young girls did them they way they normally would. This commercial is very different then the usual stereotypical commercials for men and women.

While these gender based commercials have clearly been around for a very long time, they’re still a part of advertising today. When these Colgate advertisements were coming out women really were mostly in the home doing housework while now that isn’t the case. Advertisements are now evolving to be more progressive and appeal to a wide range of people who could be using these goods or services.

Here is a link to the Always commercial in case anyone was interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs

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A more diverse tv world

Posted by karmstrong94 on March 5, 2015

In the last few years we have seen the emergence of diverse families on tv. One of those shows that has been a prime example of the “new family” is Modern Family. On that show they have the gay couple Cam and Mitchell who have an adopted girl Lilly. There is also a blended family, Jay and Gloria. Jay just so happens to be a much more older man than her and Gloria has a son named Manny And they had a son together named Joe. These are just two of the three families on the show. But, these families are suppose to represent what the families now-a-days could look like. Thinking back 10 or 15 years ago you would never see this much diversity on tv. There is a whole show dedicated to an Asian family, Fresh Off the Boat, on ABC. Diversity on tv is practically a staple. All over primetime tv we can see how the idea of what a family looks like has changed. Another example of a tv show that is breaking through diversity is Glee. Glee has broken through tv barriers and i feel has allowed other shows to also break barriers. Glee was the first show in television history to have a gay couple kiss on primetime. Diversity on tv has come along way. It will be interesting to see where tv goes from here.

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Commercial Ads

Posted by flyjazzmynnicole on March 5, 2015

All commercials target a someone in particular. However, most of the time I believe that it’s target to either children and women. One of the reasons that women are the main target of ads because they’re the ones who’s usually out shopping for things. As far as children, they also play a huge role in commercial ads. Children are either watching television or playing with their toys and a lot of times when they’re watching their favorite shows on television, there’s some sort of commercial that target towards them. I remember when my little sister and I were younger, we will see cereal and toy commercials and run to our mom saying, “Can I have this? Please, please, please!” Children are easily influence in wanting something they see on television, that’s why they are the world’s biggest consumers. We all have witness as we get older we get less and we see the people younger than us get way more. That’s just life. However, it’s a prime example of how kids get target with commercial ads. Gender roles play a tremendous part of ads too. An example will be the brand Dove. Obviously it’s targeted towards women and has a ad that lets women know that we’re all beautiful and by the brand they make products that’s suppose to define the word beauty and how it will make us feel when we use this brand. I personally got targeted by Dove because of the many ads I’ve seen and the smell of the soap is remarkable.

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Advertisement is……..

Posted by vaughanchristian on March 5, 2015

Advertising is everywhere you go; ranging from restaurants, TV, public trains/buses and social media. I think advertisement is crucial to this world and is very needed. It helps one be informed about upcoming releases, it boosts sales, grows more interest in the product and also helps be aware about products they have never heard of but are in need of. Personally i look forward to advertisements in some places such as the movie because it shows previews to upcoming movies id like to see. Another example of advertisements i enjoy would be the ones during the Super Bowl. The only advertisements i dislike are the ones placed before a video on YouTube. Nothing pisses me off more when i click a song to play on YouTube and i have to endure the long ad if there isn’t a skip version.

One type of ad i  have noticed but do not really put much thought into would be a coupon. Yes coupons are amazing and usually have amazing deals but they are mostly overlooked by almost everyone. i think coupons are one of the best self promotions because the producer is offering a more reasonable deal if you are look for a certain deal. I only use coupons when it comes to ordering pizzas or going out to eat. i usually ignore all the ones displaying Dawn soap for BOGO.

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Commercial and separation between men and women

Posted by karmstrong94 on March 4, 2015

Its game day. Everyone gathers around the tv and turns on ESPN and commercials are rolling. Whats the first thing we see? A commercial for bud light. The next commercial that rolls on is for Lowes with their latest deals. And then another commercial promoting the next Lebron and D Wade match ups. Every commercial that rolled through was geared towards men. But, why? Well naturally the network expects more men than woman to be tuning in to watch the game. So, what happens when women turn on HGTV? Well they see commercials that are geared towards them and advertising their multiple other shows. I personally dont see a problem with focusing commercials on the expected gender watching that programming. My problem is when it gets taken to far to an extreme. Take for instance the Hardee’s commercials. You know the ones of the girls dressed in bikinis taking bites of burgers that are 10 times bigger then their heads. Yes, “sex sells”. But, how far do we really need to take it to promote a product. Personally i would stop channel surfing if i saw a guy shirtless with a 6-pack id stop and watch. I probably wouldnt notice what he was trying to sell. There is a point when it can go to far. But, we are more likely to see that extreme when it comes to commercials aimed at men.

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Posted by djhonestave on March 4, 2015

A lot of the dish soaps and other kitchen type of items are marketed towards wives. I have noticed this more and more as I flip through channels during the day when I happen to be at home. One of the products I see most often is the palmolive dish soap. The often show a housewife in the commercial and how the dish soap can effectively get rid of food stuck to dishes and moisturize your hands at the same time and not dry them out like most dish soaps do. After reading this article I think is interesting to see how that business model started and how it grew into this big cooperation that makes billions of dollars. Another product I see that often marketed to housewives are paper towels. During the daytime hours I will see a lot of brawny commercials. They advertise the product to housewives saying that there paper towels are absorbent and can clean up most messes there kids will make in the kitchen. The model for advertising these products are very interesting because it has worked for so long. 

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Commercials Aimed at Genders

Posted by natkscience on March 4, 2015

Palm-olive to this day makes their commercials geared towards housewives.  I have a five-year-old son who watches the Sprout channel during the day.  The Sprout channel is specifically geared towards younger children and toddlers and every single commercial that airs on that channel is aimed towards the stay at home mom.  The advertisers know that a channel for toddlers will have to be airing in a household where a mother is present and more than likely she is doing chores or taking care of the home. They even quote on the Sprout website that “Moms are more likely to watch Sprout with their kids than any other kid’s channel”.  Palm-olive even boasts that their products can allow mom’s to wash the dishes while moisturizing their hands at the same time.

Housewives are certainly not the only targets in advertising today.  I think that advertisements geared towards men are just as laughable and stereotyped as the ones geared towards women.  The Axe body spray commercials are just awful…well any men’s cologne commercial for that matter.  They all blast images of half-naked women, physically fit men, expensive cars…all for the illusion that a new scent will make your life better and somehow sexier.  There is a new Taco Bell commercial that plays off of these ideas.  Their tag line for the commercial is something along the lines of “If you need to be told how to be a man than this steak burrito isn’t for you…”  which is just as bad as the commercials that they’re trying to make fun of.  (and as if men were the only ones who enjoy steak).  I’ve attached a poor quality version of the commercial here.

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Advertising back then and today

Posted by norabrunner01 on March 4, 2015

I absolutely have never considered a coupon as a form of advertising. I almost gave myself a dummy-smack when I read that. I completely look at it as a way to save money. I never think of it as, “Oh, look Colgate is doing a BOGO deal, they want me to buy their product,” Without even realizing it, they have us as consumers being influenced by a great example of advertising. It also reminds me of older commercials. Companies used male voices to advertise products to housewives. You would never see that today, it’s always a mother using a certain brand of paper towels or a certain brand of mops. Back then though the male made the majority of the decisions in the house, so when the woman watched the commercial it was almost as if she was getting permission to purchase the product. She was falling into the urge of buying a product without even realizing one of the factors that had influence over her in that decision.

Unlike today, back then you weren’t getting a product shoved in your face every time you turned your head. Today, you can’t do anything without wanting to skip an advertisement to get to what you want. Hundreds of companies are constantly fighting for a few seconds of your time so I believe we ignore a lot of it. We also have no reason to waste our time watching an advertisement when we can just google it later if we are interested about it.

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