The global advertising industry is growing rapidly with advertisers adopting new phenomenon in the advertising of either goods or services. Primarily, advertising sought to create awareness of certain products or new services initiated by companies, thus performing an imperative role as a marketing strategy of great competitive advantage. Internationally, several decades ago, the advertising industry was specifically a feminine deal with elegantly attired women within and outside the fashion industry, taking a bigger role in this sector.
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This aspect might have attributed to the fact that traditionally, the masculine cultural values rarely allowed this form of practices with social attitudes towards male activities undergoing strong traditional scrutiny. However, the prevailing socio-cultural studies have consistently revealed that masculinity in the advertising industry is increasing becoming proactive, with numerous men improving their interests in the industry. However, little research acknowledges their centrality. Therefore, this essay seeks to highlight some of the significant masculine role in the advertising industry based on short stories.
Masculine gender role in advertising (‘The Birthmark’- By Hawthorne)
Hawthorne’s masterpiece, The Birthmark, is one of the remarkable stories highlighting themes that are most significant to the aspect of human nature in the meadow of religion, art, and science (Hafezi 460). The presence of the birthmark on Georgiana’s face, the wife to Aylmer, is primarily not the issue that only triggers endless controversies in this family.
Throughout the story, there is a conflict between masculine attitude and feminine perception toward precision and prettiness. From a conventional standpoint, women are typically proficient at sensing beauty and sympathy, while men always keep on pursuing perfection (Hafezi 460). The character of Aylmer is naturally pessimistic, and thus regardless of the beautiful part possessed by his wife, he does not appreciate the beauty, but rather keeps on seeking for perfection. Hawthorne defies nature with the aim of reconciling his interior desires using his scientific power only to realize that nature is unique and unchallengeable.
As mentioned, Hawthorne portrays the character of men towards beauty and perfection in two accounts. He portrays men as unappreciative towards nature. For instance, Aylmer affirms, “No, dearest Georgiana, you came so nearly perfect from the hand of Nature that this slightest possible defect, which we hesitate whether to term a defect or a beauty, shocks me, as being the visible mark of earthly imperfection” (Hawthorne Para. 5).
Being a powerful scientist, he believes in perfection and sublimity towards the sense of beauty. In a bid to demonstrate this perfection, the scientist washes all the stains from his fingers just to persuade women to fall in love and marry him (Hafezi 462). The attitude towards beauty is eminent just at the beginning of their marriage, where Aylmer notices a birthmark on the face of his wife, Georgiana, something that gives him a terrible feeling.
This aspect portrays men’s prejudice and their discontentment towards beauty and perfection found in women. Naturally, men rarely find beauty as a complete thing in human life and sometimes find possible criticisms against nature, as well as finding possible ways to perfect beauty. However, women are capable of feeling beauty, as men tend to sublime to it.
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The masculine gender has regarded beauty as always incomplete, which explains why men rarely feel satisfied under the same relationship. Men are egoistic and scientifically acquainted something that normally builds false confidence towards better ways of changing human nature. In most cases under common knowledge, men have consistently portrayed lack of appreciation to a natural way of human beings to the extent of trying to find possible solutions to change the natural state and composure of human beauty (Hafezi 463).
The existence of birthmark in Aylmer’s wife consistently irritates him, and thus, he wants to explore his scientific knowledge to provide a solution to the beauty of his wife. Masculine nature also seems interested in the modernity of life, especially things that human beings can use to make significant changes to their existing nature of beauty. Simply, men are always sublime to nature, and their egocentrism is unlikely to make any change to the nature of human beings.
Advertisement analysis using Diane Barthel’s essay
Men’s role in advertisements cannot be pushed aside, despite playing a very slight role in the industry, as women possess the entire industry by convincing viewers and readers to consuming the products. For instance, in magazines globally, women are of the most preference to advertising companies than men. However, men portray a significant role in the advertisement industry, a part that women can rarely fit to motivate consumers.
According to Barthel (170), the physical appearance and vigor portrayed in a man are what qualifies him as the best gender for advertisement, especially to lure women into consuming the products advertised. Three virtues are most significant in demonstrating a perfect advert using a masculine figure to attract consumers. These virtues insist on selection and statute in terms of firmness in the advertising industry, putting men at better chances of increasing their competence in advertisements. According to Rohlinger (65), the traits held by masculine gender will determine the marketing of the product.
The advertisements provided somehow harmonize with the conditions known to make an important role in the masculine advertisement. For any advertisement to qualify as catchy, the designed attire for a specific advertisement may account to a certain degree of importance. Personal outlook, not only being an imperative social aspect but is also vital for virtues attributed to real manhood (Dahl et al. 219).
The first advertisement, Taiga Leather for Men, portrays men who are specifically advertising beauty or cuteness product, and thus the outfits they are adorning are essential to perfect the advert. The men are elegantly attired in blue and black attractive suits, well-polished shoes, and nice-fitting ties with a powerful physique. Barthel concurs, “The slick monochromatic skin, like the Bond Street suit, makes a good impression” (172). The physical appearance and the attire in men are the two important features that men in the advertising industry must have to enhance attraction to consumers, which in turns boost the company sales.
The objectiveness of masculine advertisement is normally to reveal men’s sexual attractiveness, something that pushes women consumption to a certain product even higher. Rohlinger asserts, “For men, the notion of masculinity and the cultural definition of manhood serve as the primary building block of sexuality” (62). Men’s sexual attractiveness has been an important aspect of the advertisement, as their bodily images seem attractive in promoting female products in the advertising industry.
The last picture on Dolce & Gabbana portrays bold male images, with smart outfits, with elegant belts and specs. The masculine gender, as demonstrated by Schroeder and Zwick should reveal, “Adverts to suggest sexual pleasure in pure power, pure shape, and pure zeal” (30). According to Barthel (176), through power, performance, and precision, men have been equally important in advertising various products ranging from stereos, sunglasses, watches, belts, shoes, to complex products including sports cars. The pleasure in muscle is what means important to advertise particular products in companies.
Apart from the masculine gender being significant, in marketing for products previously associated with women consumption characteristics, men have continuously proven competent and significant in advertising products associated with male consumers. The advert on Skyy Vodka portrays a man demonstrating his prowess over a woman while holding an alcohol brand.
According to Schroeder and Zwick (24), products like alcohol normally associate with male consumption, and if well designed in an advertisement, the product might gain a competitive market advantage. Barthel postulates, “The fit survive and fitness means…conformity with the criteria of those who have already succeeded…to be compatible with the top men is to act like them, to look like them, to think like them” (177). Products associated with male boldness and male character seem much better if advertised using male imagery, not female images as some male egoism male find a way of criticizing the perfection of the product following the advert that presents it.
Traditionally, feminine gender is unusually competitive in the advertising industry, with male figures constantly appearing on televisions, newspapers, billboards, and beauty magazines. However, the world of globalization and industrialization has rapidly evolved, and thus the cultural notion is fading away and potential advertising companies are increasingly realizing the potentiality of masculine gender in the advertising industry (Rohlinger 65).
Using their power, performance, precision, and attractiveness, men have significantly propelled the advertising scene taking part in advertising diverse products including shoes, clothing, glasses, and watches coupled with superior products like classic cars among others.
The advertising industry has predominantly gained acceptance by using masculine gender to advertise feminine products like face creams, hair sprays, moisturizers, and even perfumes that form the greatest part of beauty consumption. If this trend persists, the masculine gender is likely to overcome the feminine gender in the advertising industry shortly, thus presenting advertisements in a more competent and different style.
Barthel, Diane. Putting On Appearances: Gender and Advertising: A Gentleman and a Consumer, New York: Temple University Press, 1989. Print.
Dahl, Darren, Jaideep Sengupta, and Kathleen Vohs. “Sex in Advertising: Gender Differences and the Role of Relationship Commitment.” Journal of Consumer Research 36.2 (2009): 215-231. Print.
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Hafezi, Najmeh. “Kantian Notions of Feminine Beauty and Masculine Sublimity in Hawthorne’s ‘The Birthmark’.” Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences 3.11 (2012): 460-464. Print.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Birthmark, 2000.
Rohlinger, Deana. “Eroticizing Men: Cultural Influences on Advertising and Male Objectification.” Journal of Sex Role 46.4 (2002): 61-74. Print.
Schroeder, Jonathan, and Detlev Zwick. “Mirrors of Masculinity: Representation and Identity in Advertising Images.” Consumption, Markets and Culture 7.1 (2004): 21-52. Print.