If you aren’t aware of the sorts of adverts that are used to sell lad’s products such as Brut or Lynx then you’re a lucky person, it seems like they’re unavoidable these days if you watch television, read magazines or even glance at billboards. As soon as one sexist advert stops being aired, another one all too quickly takes its place. Does anyone remember the Brut advert in which a blonde barbie like doll was put into a machine and transformed into a real, tanned, surgically enchanced bikini clad woman? What about the Lynx advert in which it is proved that “Girls look hot wet – guys don’t”. A woman, waving her wet hair around in slow motion, perfectly made up and wearing a wet, almost see-through top is declared to be ‘hot’ while of course the male “eqivalent” – a guy ogloing her with sweaty wet underarm patches ‘is not’.
Is it just me or does anyone notice a pattern here, they all use the same idea for every advert they make. It must be sex and it must feature at least one half naked sexualised female. The message is that 1) women are sexy and should be ogled at accordingly and 2) The only way to get a woman is through smelling nice – which of course means buying Lynx (Axe) or Brut.
Oh and their tag line “Still brutally male” since when is being a sexist ogling pervert the only way to make you a male?
The latest in the long line of sexist Brut ad’s is the “Stop and share” advert in which a group of young males spot a blonde female stereotype dressed in tiny binki walking along the beach and perv on her. Once “spotted” the male nudges his friends so that they can all “share” and ogle her together, stating “ohh” and “pwoar” just to make it completely clear what they are doing. We as the audience are then deliberately invited to look: cut to a close up of only her bouncing breasts and midrif for a few seconds and then continue with the jingle: “You gotta spot and share, because, fellas, it’s just what’s right”.
The message is strong and clear. Women are sexualised and exist in this ad soley to be looked at by men, the focus is breasts and bum. Guys are entitled to ogle and “share” their “phwoar’s” and ratings with friends. Some could dismiss this a “just a bit of fun” but what impression is it really setting for young males and females who can’t see through the money making objectives of advertising.
The good news is that it has been banned, the bad news is that the problem found with it is not it’s clear sexism, but the fact that the male characters aren’t wearing seatbelts and sitting safely in their car. Sure, safety is important but something tells me that being careless with car safety isn’t this ad’s main message. Sexism is fine, it would seem, but seatbelts are a whole different ballgame.
Melinda Tankard Reist talks about the Brut advert in her article here.
The youtube clip of it is here.