Monday, June 21, 2010

Women's bodies, commercials, and the men's World Cup (part 3)

One thing about World Cup season is that it means I end up watching a lot more TV than I'm used to. The commercials tend not to be a good thing for my feminist conscience. Women's bodies are used to sell all sorts of things, such as Budweiser beer in the following commercial that was prepared to be played during the World Cup.

While a woman's body is not the main focus of this commercial, the female form is still objectified and portrayed as nothing but a distraction to the men playing soccer. I find it interesting how the beer is portrayed in a similar way: as a distraction to the men on the field. However, the difference lies in the fact that beer is not representative of human beings, and when you're comparing women to beer, what is that saying about women?

A close up of a soccer ball on a field where one field player faces off with a goal keeper for a penalty kick that will determine the outcome of the game in question. The goal keeper and the player preparing to take the kick exchange looks. Over the shoulder of the field player, fans cheering against the goal keeper hold up individual signs that together create an image of a hula girl, which distracts the goal keeper. The field player smirks and winds up to take the kick. Just then, fans sitting behind the goal also hold up individual signs that create the image of a Budweiser beer can and glass filled with beer. The field player is so distracted by this image that his kick goes wide to the right of the goal, losing the game.

Part one and two in my World Cup series.


Anonymous said...

In other words, nothing changes.

However, it is this kind of advertising that is most prevalent not just in what is perceived to be a male-dominated category (sports), but also in an ubiquitous section of advertising (alcoholic beverages).

The second item however, is one that the ad agency that thought of the ad believed was an ironic twist: Considering that a top-flight goalie was accused of being distracted by a "beautiful woman," this commercial was supposed to be a parody of this (non)event, while at the same time, leave the viewer with an image of a slightly funny commercial in their minds.

Saranga said...

just a quick note to say thanks for making the font size bigger! I'm ridiculously short sighted and even with brand new glasses it's nice to come across a web page in slightly bigger text!

Amelia said...

@heavyarmor: I see what you're saying, definitely. Call me a humorless feminist, but I don't find it remotely funny, just annoying. I suppose I'm not the target audience, though.

@Saranga: No problem! Another reader kindly suggested that I start making the font bigger, and I'm happy to do so.