It’s well established that advertisements are an integral part of our daily lives. They surround us every minute of our lives, and influence our thoughts, and desires. Over the years, ads have also played a role in shaping our perceptions of ourselves and others. This brings to the centre stage a complex issue: gender stereotypes promoted by ads. Ahead of men’s day, let’s delve into common gender stereotypes promoted for men in advertising and explore why it’s time for a paradigm shift.
The Macho Man
Advertisers have for years opted to hard-sell masculinity to appeal to their male target audience. Think of products targeted at men. Be it cars, perfumes, razors, deodorants or even baniyans. Year after year, ads have played into the male fantasy by portraying men as heroes saving the day. It’s time to move beyond the prince charming, daredevil narrative, and portray men for who they are.
The Man of the Family
Think of ads made for cars, life insurance, home loans? And now, look back and think about ads for toothpaste, soap or even detergents.
For years, ads have shown men as the leading decision makers, especially for monetary matters. “Kabhi socha hai aapke baad aapke parivaar ka kya hoga?” is directed more at men than women. Portrayals of men in advertising are still limited by traditional outlines, which need to be blurred. The onus of shouldering your family’s responsibility isn’t solely on men anymore, and ads need to change their narrative in the reel world, especially when more and more men are ‘sharing the load’ in the real world.
Men will be Men
While some brands are grasping at straws to appear progressive, others are unabashedly asking men to be themselves. Or rather, the idea of men. Flexing in the company of peers, or harmless subterfuges to impress women, or highlighting the lengths men can go for pyaar. These ads have stereotyped men, portraying them as people who don’t bat an eyelid while objectifying women. To them a reminder, not all men.
From Raymond to Gillette, over the years, many ads have also strayed from the traditional construct, to show that there’s certainly more to being a man than what meets the eye. However, most ads fail to find the balance. If not as gun-toting daredevils, then as sports-addicted men in front of the screen or caring family men who wear their hearts on their sleeves. Ads fail to show them for who they really are. It’s time to bring the tide of change, because what we show is not the best a man can get.
At 3 Dots Design, we believe in exploring various narratives, before deciding the one that is the best for your brand. We manoeuvre campaigns to deliver maximum impact for your brand. To know more about our work, visit https://www.3dotsdesign.in/