Gender Roles In Advertising In Pakistan

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Aren’t television advertisements the most annoying thing in the world when you’re watching TV? TV advertisements are more often than not seen as annoying interruptions from the actual programing you are paying to see. Often times we pay little to no attention to them as we are anxiously waiting for the actual scheduled program to return. But if we decide to pay closer attention to these advertisements, they often times influence and even shape our thought processes, social norms, and even our culture. I decided to spend three hours watching television in Pakistan, specifically a channel called “HUMTV” which is well known for its dramatic soap operas; from 9PM-1AM(there was a power outage from 11PM-12PM) and trying to analyze the themes and messages portrayed in these advertisements and seeing how they contribute to and shape Pakistani society.
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The types of advertisements shown on channels primarily meant to air soap operas seem to target mothers in many different angles. Of the advertisements I observed approximately 23% in some form portrayed a mother using a certain product on their kids. Another 19% portrayed a woman serving or providing a certain product to either her husband or her in-laws. Also about 12% of the Ads were dedicated to whitening creams as well as other beauty products for women, in which often times are shown to get lighter skin (which in Pakistani society equates to beauty). The advertisers often use the Ads to create a perfect image for either a family or for the role a certain genders should play in it (Khalid). As shown by the data I collected on a channel primarily focused on soap operas has at least 54% of their Ads directed at mothers and wives and the majority of the time they had three main

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