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Advertising Media Identification - Essay Example

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Summary
Media plays a significant role in gendering children, but also represent the desires of children themselves to be gendered.This essay examines two advertisements for closely related products: Lego, and “Lego Friends,” a variant aimed at girls…
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Advertising Media Identification

Download file to see previous pages... These include future employment of the children, and the importance and nature of social interaction, which varies significantly between the two advertisements based on gender. Gender has long been something that has been of greatest concern to advertisers and to the advertising consuming public. It is of concern to advertisers because it is an incredibly important part of identity, and advertisers need to tap into identity needs to understand how to best sell to the public. It is of great concern for the public, however, because the public wants to be able to resist advertisers having undue influence on the development of those identities. These concerns are especially prevalent in the case of advertising for children. For some time the main concern of gender advertising has been associated with the main concern for advertising for adults: body image. Children’s advertisers tended to fall into the same techniques as advertisers for adults do: portraying “limited diversity in physical attributes” – usually meaning body type and skin color . But an emerging trend, demonstrated by two advertisements for Lego products, traditional Lego marketed towards boys and a new line, “Lego Friends,” marketed towards girls,...
Both pairs then go on to enjoy their products in varied ways. When delving beyond the superficial, however, it becomes immediately clear that these two ads are not in fact portraying similar things at all, but are rather portraying very different things in regards to the appropriate work roles of people of different gender. The voiceover in the Lego advertisement describes a heavily masculine world view, where “a man’s home is his fortress,” and the father and son pair then go on to build a house together (Lego 2011). The emphasis here is on construction, and the images support this emphasis: not only is the house always growing and getting new additions, from towers and turrets to walls, windows and propellers, but the colors and patterns involved with those additions is constantly changing and rotating, indicating a flurry of activity on the part of the builders, who are constantly innovating and changing their structure. This thus not-so-subtly implies that a proper occupation for male-gendered people is to build things, to be involved with construction and with that kind of physical/mental labor, and that mans nature involves constantly tinkering and innovating to construct new things. It is thus not a stretch to argue that this advertisement perpetuates jobs that require those traits as being male roles: engineers who cannot stop tinkering, construction workers, architects and so on. This advertisement clearly sets out a number of characteristics that male-identified people should possess, and then makes those correspond with jobs and hobbies that men should thus supposedly be engaging in – things that involve using their hands and their heads. While the “Lego” advertisement is somewhat subtle in its ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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