Archive for the ‘Controversial Advertising’ category

When Religion Meets Advertising

April 10, 2007

As I continue to sift through countless site on the web about advertising, I came across one that particularly interested me. Wonder Cafe,  a site based out of Canada, is all about religion.  As my blog continually discusses controvresial advertising, this site is particularly fitting.  Wonder Cafe has developed and advertising campaign that is intended to be controversial.  The idea behind the advertisments is to get people to discuss religion, and it is very successful.  I am unable to show the advertisements in my blog post, but go check them out!

Wonder Cafe Advertisments (click on the link entitled “Ad Campaign” in the bottom left corner of the home page)

 As a born and raised Catholic (not to mention 12 years of the Catholic school system), some of the advertisements go again what I was taught to believe.  The website strongly encourages individuals to talk about the advertisements, with discussion forums created for each ad.  I enjoyed the advertisements, and I think that they provide a good focal point for the ever-dreaded topic of discussion: religion.  I found the forums on these advertisements to be particularly interesting. 

 In my opinion, I beleive that Wonder Cafe does an excellent job of using controversial advertising to promote discussion about religion.


Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty

March 22, 2007

Back in early February, I posted about the portrayal of women in the media.  At that time, I had heard of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, but knew very little about it.  Sure, I had seen the commercials of women “loving the skin their in,” but when someone posted a comment on my blog about the campaign, I became interested in Dove’s motives behind this particular campaign.

Through reasearch, Dove came to the conclusion that most women believe that the media and advertising set unrealistic standards for beauty that are unattainable for most women.  Thus, Dove has created a successful campaign that attempts to promote the beauty of all ages, sizes, and colors.  The idea promoted within the advertising is that each woman is different and different is beautiful.

 The campaign website provides links to many of Dove’s commercials, but it also provides statistics about how women view themselves in relationship to the media’s portrayal of beauty.   One of the most recent advertisements that was not allowed to air focused on promoting “pro-age” versus the common “anti-age” beauty products.  The commercial was very controversial, and the website even provides a forum for women to post their opinions, good or bad.

 After viewing the website, I think that the campaign is a postitive step for the portrayal of women in the media.  Every woman is beautiful, and they should “love the skin their in”.

In addition to the advertisements on this website, I also found a video about digital restoration/distortion.  The beginning of the video shows a woman’s face without makeup.  By the end of the film, this woman’s face has been transformed through makeup and digital retouching to be part of a billboard advertisement.  On the billboard, her face is unrecognizable. I strongly encourage you to check out the short film.

Diesel Ad Campaign

February 8, 2007

In attempt to grasp viewer’s attention, advertisers often push the limits on sexuality.  On the same wave-length as my last post about women in the media, beauty, or sex, sells.  It is as simple as that.  Researchers today argue that the average American is exposed to around 3,000 advertisements each day.  For an advertisement be successful, the product must remain in a viewer’s mind after viewing it.  Thus, advertisers attempt to push the limits, and one way is through sexuality.


This ad is part of the Diesel clothing company’s 2005 ad campaign.  I found this ad while paging through an old issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine on my lunch break at work.  It amazed me that this advertisement was even able to be published, and after further research, I found that the ad was banned by the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) because many viewers complained that it was too sexually explicit.  I agree.  I feel that there are other ways than extreme sexual exploitation to gain a viewer’s attention.  This is just one example of many advertisements that are over-the-top.

 The Diesel ad on the right is the original, but many magazines said they would not publish it.  So, Diesel added the jeans to the man (left ad).  My opinion: neither are appropriate, and I guess the ASA agrees.


Portrayal of Women in the Media

February 7, 2007

Everywhere we turn, advertising is telling people, women especially, what it means to be desirable.  Many of these messages share a common theme: women must be “beautiful.”.  Women have always been measured against cultural ideals of beauty, but advertising often uses sexism to make images of “ideal beauty” more prevalent and increasingly unattainable.  Twenty years ago, the average model only weighed 8% less than the average woman, whereas the average model today weighs 23% less.  Most models today are thinner than 95% of the population.  In a recent study by Dove, the researches found that out of the survey respondents, only 2% considered themselves to be “beautiful.”  Many researchers argue that the unrealistic portrayal of women in the media can be detrimental to advertisement viewer’s health.  Studies show that advertisements of ultra-thin women increases a viewer’s body-focused anxiety.

 The question arises: can advertising be a reason that 1 out of every 4 women have an eating disorder? 

 The “Barbie Doll Figure” is literally unattainable, yet images of the Barbie-like figure are constantly show through advertising.


 Just how thin is too thin, and how is society supposed to regulate?  The portrayal of ultra-thin women is going too far.  Sure I know the importance of a healthy diet and exercise, but there are also high-risk factors for being ultra-thin.

Another Opinion About the Superbowl

February 7, 2007

Ok, so I’ll have one last post about the commericals in the Superbowl.  As I was looking at some other blog posts about the commercials, I found some rather disappointed viewers.  One particular blogger put a lot of energy into saying how bad the commercials were this year.  I thought a lot of them were funny.  So what if I found the grocery store clerk amusing when she rang up the Dorritos?

Check out her opinion