This ad for Axe shampoo (a men's line under the Unilever brand) is set at a house party full of young people. A man walks through the crowded living room into an empty kitchen and is followed by a woman. After he enters the kitchen, she slams the door behind them both and says passionately “I just want to bury my face in your backside.” Then, she bends him over the oven from behind and rubs her hands and face all over the back of his hair. The man remains silent but looks pleased and excited. The final slogan is “Get some Hair Action with Axe shampoo,” with the words “Hair Action” illuminated in red neon lights. This ad, like many others selling the Axe brand since the early 2000s, suggests that its products can be used by men to attract women.
This is one of a series of ads for a micro car by Toyota, the Scion iQ. Four women in bikinis eat donuts and milk while one of them does car "donuts" (spinning the car round and round) in the empty parking lot of a donut shop. The girls scream as the car spins, and donut cream and milk go flying, covering their bikini-clad bodies. Afterwards, the four celebrate triumphantly. The other people featured in the ad campaign are bikers, cops and dudes, although the female driver (costumed differently) remains the same.
This clip, published in January 2014, is a part of beauty and skincare brand Dove’s #BeautyIs campaign, which seeks to “start a global conversation about the need for a wider definition of beauty.” The first part of the clip illustrates a series of mother-daughter teams discussing their own personal insecurities about their appearances, such as wearing or not wearing makeup, comparing themselves to others, aging and wrinkles, and general discomfort with their looks. In the second part, professional photographer Michael Cook organizes an experimental photography workshop at a high school in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in which mothers and daughters use “selfies,” or smartphone photo portraits taken by the subjects themselves, in order to create their own definition of beauty and challenge their own perceived shortcomings. After printing out and displaying the portraits in a gallery, other girls wrote compliments on Post-It notes and attached them to each photo. While nearly all the women and girls had critical things to say about themselves in their testimonials, these Post-It notes illustrated the divergence between self-perception and outward appearance: one woman’s insecurity may be exactly what another perceives to be a unique and beautiful physical feature. By incorporating the power of social media and smartphone technology, the video illustrates to viewers the personal power they have in re-defining what is truly beautiful.
In 2011, the Bic company began to market a new pen product: "Bic Pens for Her". This back-to-school ad captures the essence of their pitch, drawing consumers' attention to the "fabulous styling" and "smooth writing" of the female-oriented Bic pen. In truth, the there were only minor color and style differences between the Bic Pen for Her and the regularly marketed Bic pens, although the Bic Pen for Her came with a slightly more expensive price-tag. The marketing effort received a good deal of pushback from consumers, many of whom took to the comments section of Amazon.com to post sarcastic reviews. "Since I've begun using these pens, men have found me more attractive and approchable," one commenter joked.
This is an ad from Boost Mobile, a large telecommunications company. A young African American male holding a basketball in one hand is texting on his phone in the other hand. The slogan for the company is “Where you at?” a vernacular phrase originating in African American communities long before it was adopted by Boost. Boost has aggressively targeted urban minorities in the US, using urban slang in its advertising and featuring celebrities such as Fat Joe, Kanye West and Ludacris to endorse its product.