Tuesday, 12 November 2013

How far do Tom Ford and Gucci perfume campaigns offer stereotypical aspirations?

How far do Tom Ford and Gucci perfume campaigns offer stereotypical aspirations?
I will be investigating how advertisements for Tom Ford [1] and Gucci perfume [2] use stereotypical aspirations in their campaigns and exploring the effects. To help analyse these advertisements I will be using theories such as Laura Mulveys theory 'male gaze' [11] and the objectification of women and their stereotypical gender roles; [6] I will also be looking at the hypodermic model and trying to establish how the audience is influenced. [9] It could be argued that these advertisements use different methods, as in Tom Ford’s campaign women are represented in a very controversial and objectified way, to sell the product to their target audience of both men and women. In Gucci's advertisement it is very different as they are using glamour to attract their audience. Uses and gratifications show a strong role model who is a celebrity, for example Blake Lively, is very glamorous, you are able to indicate this from the way she is presented in media, with subtle colors such as gold and the clothing she wears for example long dresses. This works on influencing women to buy this product as they want to be like this celebrity and the celebrity is the audience’s role model.
It is very clear that media has a huge impact on both men and women's lives. [13] In the past, women were always made out to be controlled by men and they were not capable of doing anything on their own. [3] Advertisements have long been sexist towards women and would portray them as subordinate to men. 'You mean a women can open it?' [3] Was a quote used from a poster from around the 1940s, however as the realisation came that this was discriminating towards women, the media soon began to change and make women more sexualised.[3]
It could be argued that in the present day the media influences the way men and women think, by showing models who have perfect body's and hair, focusing purely on appearance. [13] However this is not an accurate representation on women as many of the photos of models have been photoshopped to make them appear to look better then they are in reality. In terms of uses and gratifications the media use photoshop to make the 'perfect' human, this influences both men and women to look like these 'perfect models' and effect them, however it leads them to a false goal as it is not realistic. [12] These beauty standards affect the way women and men view the female body, women feel as though they should have this perfect body which is more or less impossible and they feel they can achieve this, which creates men to think this is the way women should look and if they don't they are not 'perfect'. 'From 2000 to 2009 there was a 36% increase in breast augmentation and a 84% increase in tummy tucks' [3], these results confirm the fact people are changing their body's to match how they look in the media and won't be happy until it's completely the same. A study has found that 50% of ads in women's magazines portray women as objects. [3]In advertisement women are also portrayed as sexually submissive, and the sexualisation of women in advertisement has become a lot more violent meaning that they women are in skimpy clothing and showing of all of their body parts to the camera and being very seductive towards the cameras.
However it could be argued that men are often represented as strong, dominant and aggressive, they are affected by the hyper-masculine stereotypes. 'Depression in men has increased dramatically in the past 2 decades' [5], this shows that media does have a huge impact on men and women and can lead to them having various illnesses.
Heavy exposure to media alters the viewers perception of social reality in a way that matches the media world' - Levin and Kilbourne. [4] 'Advertisement companies spend over £5 billion a year to tell you how to think. After a media report a shocking fact was found that only 30% of women are behind the published articles and a shocking 70% are men' [4], this shows that a lot of the media today is viewed in the way of a man which is very biased.
In terms of uses and gratification Tom Ford is very clever with this as they use different angles on the camera to show women belittling men, this gives connotations of power but also showing that men will abide by the women's request but also they are able to influence men to buy their aftershave as they make out that women will fall to their feet to be with them and that half naked women will soon come after them. In Tom Fords advertisement we are able to analyse this by using Mulveys theory the male gaze, Tom Ford is able to sell his products by using sex cells which use women as sex objects in order to attract men to buy his products. In Tom Fords perfume they intend to sell the product by objectifying women in order to attract men. He also uses enigma codes because people begin to wonder the extremes Tom Ford will go next so they become intrigued and excited for what he will release next. You can see that in Tom Fords advertisement the women are passive as they are just lying across the men they are not doing anything however the men are active as they are the ones who are controlling the advertisement, this is very stereotypical as it is represented that men are able to control women as the women abide by them.
In 'Tom Fords' advertisement he uses have very bright red lipstick and fingernails, which signifies desire as well as sexuality. [7] She has her mouth slightly open which is a very erotic signifier, this can also mean sexuality and submissiveness this is because when women show their mouths slightly open it can mean they are try to seduce you and make you obey to their commands, they also make her skin shiny by using oils, which makes it shiny and almost wet which evokes emotions of heat and passion. They create arousal and vulnerability by placing the fragrance bottle between the cleavage to entice the viewers to look at her breasts and between her thighs. All of these signs indicate that they are considered to be sexually impure or 'dirty' the white background can signify purity and innocence. Tom Ford’s main objectives are, to make the audience feel aroused and excited by his sexy fragrance. In terms of uses and gratifications they use close ups on breasts and carefully covering areas between her thighs which are very explicit, they also use close ups on sensitive areas such as your mouth and fingers to make them more sexualized. They also have high key lighting, which can give a sense of innocence and not abiding by the rules. The different props that they use are the perfume bottles and place them very provocatively to get the audience excited and astonished. The mise en scene for this perfume advertisement is to create a setting, which is very simple but stands out very strong such as the red lipstick and fingernails but it also being very simple has an effect on the audience.
However in Gucci's perfume its main audience is for women as it is using glamour women will feel they are highly thought of and known as someone who is glamorous and not sexualised, this may make them feel that they are more unique and independent. The mode of address which Gucci use is that women can be glamorous, we do not need to be objectified we can have our own independence. Gucci intend to sell the perfume to women through love and romance. At the beginning of the Gucci advertisement it uses mise en scene by having Blake Lively over looking some outstanding scenery looking out over the city with all of the lights lighting up the city and wearing a long golden dress, which fits to the curves of her body. The gold is used to show glamour but it is also a very bold colour which makes her stand out from everything around her to show her importance in this advertisement also it fits to the curves of her body for women to aspire to be like her and be jealous of her appearance, this then influences women to buy this perfume. The mise en scene used through out this advertisement shows how women have power and independence Gucci are able to do this by making Blake Lively appear to stand out from the surrounding environment and although there is no one else in the room it shows power through her strides.  The lighting on this advertisement differs because in the background it is very low key lighting however it is very high key lighting which spotlights Blake Lively this again shows her importance and makes her stand out, it also signifies innocence. She then imagines herself with a handsome man and she is able to get him; this will have an effect on the audience, as it will make the audience feel they are able to get any man. They use a very respectable and well known celebrities such as Blake Lively to sell their product this is to sell the product to the audience who are familiar with this celebrity and aspire to be like her. In terms of uses and gratifications they are able to do this by using well known celebrities who have a good reputation to advertisement this is a key to selling a perfume and ensuring it is a big hit. [15] [18]
In Tom Fords advertisement with perfume especially his most recent campaigns for example Neroli Portofino they use very explicit pictures and videos of women’s breasts and in-between her thighs on women for example his perfume/ aftershave and eye wear, using this technique makes it possible to encode, this effects the audience by making the men feel if they use this after shave women will get naked and want to be with them. It also creates social integration as more and more people begin to talk about their advertisement and become overwhelmed with it.

Tom Ford aims at his audience by making the men feel that if they use this perfume they can get any women that they want, because of this it is a very closed text which leaves little room for the audiences interpretation. Tom Ford uses a very clever technique by enticing and shocking the audience and creating enigma codes for people to have unanswered questions by a very sexually explicit advertisement this entices the audience in and in terms of uses of gratifications the social integration theory is used by shocking the audience which makes them talk to others about what they have seen. He is very clever on how he positions his fragrance bottles to sell his product as men may feel that it will assist them to find a girl. [18] An example of this was Robin Thickes music video when the ASA quoted 
"particularly the shots of the women's bodies with their heads obscured and the shot of the woman on all fours". [14] This is very shocking advertisement for people who are not accustomed to these sort of advertisements it may stick on their mind, it could be argued that this is what Tom Ford is trying to achieve. However we live in a increasingly sexual culture where these sorts of images are becoming a lot more 'normal'.[12] 
How far do Tom Ford and Gucci perfume campaigns offer stereotypical aspirations? Tom Ford and Gucci take this quite to an extent however in very different ways. Tom Ford influences the audience to buy this product by using shock tactics and making men feel as though they can get any women they desire, however Gucci make women feel they have importance and can be dignified and feel well presented by using a glamour technique. Tom Ford is able to use social integration to be able to sell his products as people begin to talk about how shocking it is which makes more people look at it even if it was to be band. [16] Through this research I have been able to prove how Tom Fords advertisement is a success all though very explicit it has a huge impact on the audience. Also in Gucci's advertisement they don't want the women to be made out as sex objects or the women wouldn't buy this product so they show them as respectful women. Overall with using these different techniques they are both very successful and do their job of selling their perfume to their target audience. [17]

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