Submitted by TEPF Volunteer
Advertising has such a deep and profound effect on its viewers, despite their level of awareness. It can convince us not only to buy products, but to believe the philosophy, principle, or idea. It can tell you that you are too fat, too ugly, too slow, too smelly, etc., and that you need this product to be beautiful, desirable, intelligent, athletic, etc. Our society often focuses on negative ads and will use extreme examples from fashion labels that show women being objectified, dissected, ridiculed, or spoken down to, let alone racist, ageist, and ethnocentric. Sadly, those examples are plentiful, as explored in the film and follow-ups, Killing Me Softly by Jean Kilbourne. Luckily, there are some ad agencies with more positive messages.
My ad was found in the Time Magazine December 31st issue. It is for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and features four women standing with arms crossed in front of a dark backdrop. The camera slightly angled up, giving the women a sense of power. The women are dressed professionally, but plain clothes. The body language of crossed arms and smiling faces expresses confidence. The women are between the ages of 30 – 40, which is also the target audience of the ad. The print on the ad suggests the women are support systems for each other during cancer treatment. The ad is selling the idea of the foundation doing positive things and suggesting the audience to donate to them. The ad has a positive message of hope and strength. The women pictured are not stick thin, but are all of a healthy, average weight. Although their wrinkles and imperfections are all photoshopped out, the ad displays a picture perfect version of a successful cancer survivor.