Tipalet seduces a society driven by gender stereotypes Advertisements have always been an important form of expression and more particularly, a medium through which the producer spreads an ideology. This advertisement follows the basic format of a poster advertisement, containing a striking image, a strong slogan and eye-catching colors. This paper analyses the Muriel Tipalet Cigarette advertisement through two basic approaches, the semiotic approach and the stereotype approach. The advertisement is first approached semiotically, understanding the connotations, paradigms and syntagms contained in it. Further, the signs presented in the advertisement are identified and discussed. Finally, the advertisement is studied for implied stereotypes and ideological suggestions. In conclusion, the impact of the visual abstract of the product on consumers is weighed, while also considering the cultural significance of the advertisement during its release in the 1970s
The advertisement contains a striking image of a handsome man and a beautiful woman, which when combined with the words holds connotations of gender stereotypes. The words "blow in her face and she'll follow you anywhere" is an arbitrary sign which aims at capturing the attention of the male audience. As seen in the picture, the woman is wearing a white top, revealing her bare shoulders and skin, evidently denoting sex appeal being used in the advertisement, linking the woman, the cigar and the man. It appeals to the male audience
in the manner suggesting that any woman would want to follow a man who would have taste for Tipalet cigars. The major part of the poster is seen to be covered in smoke, which is the indexical sign, which becomes the signifier of the cigar, which is the signified object. The man and the woman in the advertisement serve as the iconic signs, so as to imply that every woman is glamorous and every man is deserving of such a woman. The symbolic sign present in the advertisement comes from the words "delicious" and "aromatic", stressing on the images of the flavors available, which are shown at the bottom right corner of the poster.
In terms of a stereotypical analysis, it is evident that the gender stereotypes of a man and woman come into play. The man is portrayed as the pursuer of women, and the woman is considered as the seductress. In this advertisement, the man is shown to be influential, powerful and furthermore, irresistible on using the product. The male is the dominant character that has the power over the woman and is capable of luring her into his charms with just a puff of smoke. We see less of the man and more of the woman in the poster, suggesting that the producer intended for the audience to view themselves as the man in that position. The ideology of a gender stereotype is spreader through this poster, making the audience want to try the product.
The colors in the background are mostly yellow and shades of orange, suggesting an evening, or a romantic setting. The interesting aspect of this ad is that they have incorporated cultural paradigms into the context of the advertisement, laying emphasis on what the average man of a society desires, and showing that this product would aid him in attaining that object of desire, in this case, the woman. The influence that this ad is meant to have upon customers is to show that men are powerful and that they are capable of having a beautiful woman depend upon them. This ad suggests that the man can have his follow his demands without question, considering the women as sex objects. Another implication that can be noticed is that smoking is considered by women to be 'hip' or attractive. Here again, the role play comes into play as every man is expected to be masculine and men are to be dominating.
This advertisement came out in the 1970’s, a time when women were still not in a position to voice their opinions and was not considered as equals. During such a period, the impact of an advertisement like this one was huge and Tipalet turned out to be a huge success. They have tactically used a set of signs, paradigms and cultural suggestions that would undoubtedly strike the minds of a society driven by gender stereotypes. The visual abstract of the product is cleverly incorporated into the social and cultural traditions of the period. The constant presence of the media in daily life not only instills certain ideologies implied in them, but also encourages the masses to believe in them and follow the same pattern in reality. The advertisement, on the whole is well planned and aims at the male audience mostly, paying particular attention to those issues that would be considered important by them. It may be said from the analysis, that a successful advertisement does not come from mere stating of facts, no matter how good the product is or how innovative the product range can be. It is the implied signs and visual effect that reaches out to the people.