The main purpose of any type of advertising image is to sell a
certain product. The actual advertisements often meet a set
series of credentials. The reader is basically tricked into
desiring a product by the use of advertising techniques. One of
the most potent techniques is to use the female gender as a sex
symbol. The use of sex, beautiful women, and bold text is
evident in the majority of magazine ads.
This theory is thoroughly supported in a magazine ad for
Patron brand Tequila. A highly attractive super-model is
seductively puckering her lips. She has a large white top hat
on with a white vest, and white pants. Her vest is unbuttoned
completely and her half-naked chest appears to be bulging out.
In addition to the top half of her body, her pants are
unbuttoned and unzipped completely.
There is a large bottle of Patron brand Tequila at the
bottom of the page. Underneath the text in white, bold
lettering are the words, Taste the Magic . If the reader
chooses to read the smaller text underneath the catchy sex
phrase, they would discover that the beautiful women is Karen
McDougal, the 1998 Playmate of the Year.
There are three main techniques that make up this
advertisement: the use of sex, white space, and a famous
super-model. The model is dressed very provocatively, as it
appears that she is stripping. This implies a sexual fantasy or
desire to the reader. The reader feels that such fantasies
occur if they drink Patron. All the whiteness in this
advertisement supplies the feeling of clarity. The woman is
pictured as being clean and reborn . White can also be seen as
the color of paradise and heaven.
The identification of the model s name is the most
interesting part of this advertisement. The print is noticeably
smaller than the advertising text, but it is big enough to read.
This tequila company wants you to continue reading and discover
who the model really is. Most people can t just look at the
woman and recognize her as being Karen McDougal. The ad
basically has to tell the reader that the woman is Karen. The
public will then connect Patron Tequila with Playboy
Super-models. Without the text, only Playboy magazine
subscribers and a small percent of the male gender could
identify her as being Karen.
Basically Patron attempts to get the reader to make their
own associations. They want the public to associate Patron
Tequila with sexual fantasies, and beautiful women. In reality
no women can possible look as beautiful as Karen McDougal. Her
picture can be air-brushed, and altered using sophisticated
computers. The advertisement is ultimately getting the reader
to fantasize about a nonexistent paradise.
The text on this article attempts to show that Patron is
magical. The reader believes that if he/she drinks the tequila,
they will magically experience their sexual fantasies. The
model is puckering her lips as if to give the reader a kiss, and
the text is telling you to taste the magic. The magic is
actually the very attractive supermodel. The reader is being
told to taste the supermodel s lips, in a sexual way.
The ad also uses the idea of magic idea to give the
impression that the product will make you a sexually beautiful
person. The text makes you believe that you can experience a
sexual fantasy by drinking the tequila. Everyone knows that
magic doesn t exist, but Patron attempts to alter the public s
Haagen-Dazs ice cream follows the same trend in viewing
women as sex objects. Their main advertisement depicts a man
siting on a stairway waiting for an women. This ad is black
and white except the text which is in bright yellow. The man is
holding a ice cream sundae, clearly shown as being a Haagen-Dazs
brand. Written across the advertisement in yellow text is the
statement, thank god she s late . In addition to this, at the
bottom of the ad, is the Haagan-Dazs logo with a question
asking, too much pleasure?
The man is obviously waiting for his girlfriend because
the two are going on a date. She is running late, and he has
some time to kill. What is ironic is that the man is taking the
extra time to eat some Haagan-Dazs ice cream. He doesn t appear
to be nervous or concerned, but actually a bit relieved. He
rather have the woman be late so that he could have his ice
Once again the female gender is negatively brought into a
advertisement. The ad is implying that the ice cream is more
important than the man s date with the woman. The text shows
that he is having more pleasure with the ice cream, than he
would with the woman. The woman is obviously representing sex.
She ultimately is viewed as any object of sexual pleasure. It
doesn t take much analyzing to determine that the man enjoys ice
cream more than sex with the woman.
At first glance the advertisement seems very dull with the
black and white colors. What catches the eye immediately is the
bright yellow color of the bold text. This gets the reader s
attention, and curiosity causes us to analyze the depicted
scene. The line too much pleasure also catches the reader s
eye. One must ask themselves: what does too much pleasure have
to do with ice cream?
Quite simply the woman in the ad represents sex, and the
reader is expected to interpret this meaning on their own. This
is the whole idea of association and the way that it can be used
as a advertising technique. There wasn t even a woman directly
pictured in the ad, but females were still managed to be
portrayed as sex objects. This was simply down with the text.
The line thank god she s late , shows that he is glad that the
woman is not there. Then the reference to pleasure shows that
the woman represents sex. People usually don t get sexual
pleasure from ice cream but from sex. This ad thoroughly proves
the theory about women in advertisements.
Many commercials portray women with a specific stereotype.
It can simply be put that women are expected to be tall, thin,
beautiful, and sexy. What makes this very dangerous is the fact
that we live in a society that focuses too much on appearance.
The younger generation is trying to copy what they see in these
magazine ads. But it is very hard, if not impossible, to
actually look like these magazine models. By reading and
analyzing the stereotypes, society can educate themselves and
come to a sense of reality.