Brent Rosewater Advertise Me The advertisement presented to me was selling what I believed to be women’s Nikkei apparel. The ad features a black women standing in a powerful pose, with her hands planted firm on her hips and with a face of seriousness and absolute stoicism. Her face is void of any obvious makeup, but at the same time she is void nearly completely of any blemishes. There is a slight glisten of sweat on her skin as if she’s just finished a total fitness kind of workout, and her hair seems slightly frayed, adding to the workout effect.
Despite this towering per ponderous of masculine features, the women is in somewhat skimpy attire. She is wearing only a Nikkei brand bra and Nikkei brand sweat pants; with her shoulders, full arms and entire abdomen are showing. But back to the eyes for a moment, her gaze is one of previous ads; she is obviously aware that she is being watched, and her pose suggests that she is putting on somewhat of a show; as if to say, “Look at what I have” about her athletic and toned physique.
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The only three words on the page are “Make Yourself Strong”. The bright white letters contrast every aspect of the scene, but what’s interesting is that the word “strong” seems to be written into the frame with chalk, as if to suggest that the ad could be posing the ability for women to make themselves something, and the athletic women pictured is choosing to make herself strong.
The last listed feature that is most striking is the background itself- it looks to be some sort of discovered concrete wall, as if to suggest that the women is in some sort of basement gym. The concrete backdrop also adds to the overall effect as if it’s contrasting the wall and its trench to the perceived strength of the woman in the shot. The final feature I would like to discuss is actually what is not picture within the frame- what the heck Nikkei is and what it can do for me.
To be honest, the brand name “Nikkei” isn’t even anywhere in the advertisement; only the Nikkei symbol on the woman’s bra. Nowhere is the word Nikkei even cleverly placed; the marketers rely entirely on the audience’s ability to perceive the Nikkei check mark symbol to mean the brand name Nikkei. So there’s a decent amount going on within the advertisement, but what does it all really mean? Well to start, I would like to point out that the male gaze phenomenon is still present even within this ad worthy of pointing out the strength of woman.
Even the very ad that is trying to defeat the stereotypical woman controlled by man uses the coercive power of obeying men in order to sell the product that she is wearing. Which leads to the next problem- the ad makes absolutely no claim as to the benefits or advantages of wearing Nikkei sportswear. Only that there is some kind of strength that one can achieve from wearing the brand, and that woman specifically can be more masculine n wearing the outfit.
What’s interesting is that because of that omission of advantageous reasons to buy Nikkei, the Nikkei symbol on the woman’s clothing could be replaced by any other big name sports clothing and the ad would be no different. The ad itself only, if at all, expresses the benefits of wearing a sports bra and sweat pants while working out. But further, because of the sheer lacking of the brand name Exultation of Women in the Media By Brent-Rosewater have no idea whatsoever the ad was symbolizing, since they would have no idea what he word Nikkei would mean.
So to me, at the very least the omission of the simple word Nikkei from the advertisement is a poor move, since it forces the audience to rely only on their past experience of what the Nikkei symbol means in order to even understand the product being sold in the frame. The final situation that seriously aggravates me about the advertisement is the over showing of skin by the actor pictured. Although the ad is pointing out that women can work hard and fight oppression and stereotypes to make themselves appear strong, the woman is giving onto gender stereotypes by showing off as much skin as physically possible.
In fact, to some degree, I’d say the sheer lacking of clothing is so great that it makes the entire ad almost provocative in a way. As if the ad is trying to make the claim that you should buy this product that makes you look strong because looking strong and fit is sexually attractive. To me, this not only defeats the purpose of the advertisement, but also further entrenches the stereotyping of genders and the communication and equalization of women.