Low pants or prices?
by chicagomix312 on September 27, 2016 - 5:35pm
As the world is dominated by the hegemonic male ideology, the media and advertisements are often targeted towards men. Products geared towards the consumption of the stereotypical heterosexual male are conditioned to view women as objects by the media.
This advertisement in particular is advertising car insurance. At first glance, one would never guess that this is advertising the low prices of Estrella Insurance. This company is using an image of a woman’s legs, wearing heels with jean shorts hanging around her ankles and comparing it to the extremely low prices of their insurance using the tagline “No one goes lower than us…”. What stands out in the image is the only part of the woman’s body that is presented is her legs with her knees together. This presents the concept of the woman as the young, beautiful, “Perfect” seductress (Cortese 59). The slender legs of the model exhibits the unrealistic beauty standards that are instilled into our cultural ideology which lead the public to believe that the only way for women to be desirable is to be physically perfect. Advertisements such as these use women’s bodies as tools for selling they products. In this image, this woman is nearly dehumanized by the absence of her face causing her to become an object to attract buyers as opposed to a real person.
This advertisement, which is obviously directed towards heterosexual men, excludes many groups of potential customers. This advertisement insinuates that the only people who should be interested in purchasing car insurance which ultimately means the only people who should be driving cars, are heterosexual males. The primary excluded group that I would like to discuss are the heterosexual women. This company is feeding off the stereotype of what constitutes femininity which includes a fear of technology (57). The message being conveyed is that women are not meant to own cars and therefore this service need not apply to them.
This advertisement is concerning due to the discriminatory and sexist portrayal of women. It gives the male public the conception that using female sexuality and objectifying the female body is acceptable when selling products to men most importantly something that is viewed as a “male” product such as a car. The low shorts of the woman and her knees pushed together portray the idea that the woman is embarrassed in this situation. The slogan is insinuating that women is not only selling the lowest prices in car insurance, but also that nobody wears their pants as low as she does which advertises in itself the idea that the job for a woman is to be the source of male pleasure. This image gives off the impression that this company is selling female bodies more than it is selling car insurance.
The fundamental issue with this advertisement is the picture. The slogan would be acceptable if it were a picture of a downward facing arrow, but the mostly naked woman is offensive and disrespectful towards women. However, a more acceptable slogan should consist of mentioning the word “price” as opposed to “No one goes lower than us…” which does not mention the fact that they are advertising for having the lowest price in car insurance. This advertisement does not give the public any indication that they are selling car insurance through this image. This product could be sold by simply including a car in the advertisement as well. This advertisement is completely sexist and demeaning for no reason as the public can hardly tell what they are selling because of the offensive image which is grabbing the viewers’ attention.
Cortese, Anthony. "Contructed Bodies, Deconstructing Ads: Sexism in Advertising." Provacateur: Images of Women and Minorities in Advertising. New York: Rowman&Littlefield, 2008. 57-89. Print