Representation In Advertising

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Introduction Contemporary advertising surrounds men and women from every angle. Brands target consumers in magazines, on television and on the street. In a digital age, they have relished the opportunity to promote their products and services on social media apps and streaming sites. The idea of mass communication indicates a transfer of information to a large group of people. However, today’s advertisements are intent on purporting specific roles and social groupings that are gender specific and rigid. This paper aims to provide a theoretical outline of Representation. The way women and femininity are represented in advertising and mass media will be investigated. The effect of gender representation in advertising on different races and social…show more content…
Crucially, representation theory is all about how seamless and innate ideas, values, desires and personality traits are communicated to us. The analytic approach presented here makes three interrelated assumptions about advertising images. Ads can be considered aesthetic objects. This assumption acknowledges the creativity and thought that goes into the production of most national advertising campaigns” and label them as “socio-political artifacts”. Schroeder and Zwick cite Lury (1996) as suggesting how consumption has become aestheticized via style and fashion. Lury views advertising as a vehicle integrated into the art culture…show more content…
In the Dolce & Gabbana advertisement, (pictured above) one of the most prominent categories is that of relative size. The men significantly outnumber the woman in the image and are in a position of supreme and almost violent power over her. There is evidence of the woman being touched- in an aggressive manner and also a clear indication of males taking precendence over the female (function ranking). The woman’s body language and expression also highlight the category of ‘licensed withdrawal’. She is turned away from the direct line of the camera with her gaze downwards. While Goffman’s theoretical analysis is concise and still highly relevant, others were thinking in a similar vein beforehand. Berger (1972) was aware of women in advertising taking on “facial and bodily expressions” and “specific poses” of women in Western art. This is noted by Thornham (2007, p.39) who mentions Berger’s observation but goes on to explain the weight and frequency of the advertising image versus the piece of

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