Thursday, January 22, 2009

Has household products´ advertising changed?

Detergents, electrical appliances… over decades household products have filled advert space at TV, radio and newspapers.

According to Andalusia Audiovisual Council’s report, cleaning products´ advertisements represent 4,53% of the total of broadcasted adverts. The same report shows, that 79% of adverts reproduce both female and male stereotypes.

Argentinian Bussiness University´s Design and Comunication Institute´s report says that housewives are represented in cleaning products, hygiene, and beauty advertisements.

Does it mean that modern household products´ ads keep the same line as the past ones?

Not so long ago women were the only ones in charge of house works. Husband was bringing money home and woman was waiting for him at home with washed and ironed clothes and the dinner ready.

Adverts of detergents and electrical appliances were reflecting this status quo. Women were the target and advertisers talked to them directly. They had to use that specific detergent and washing machine if they wanted their men to be happy, and in order to be considered a good mother.

Nowadays in many houses the above family model is followed, although a modern woman is not longer a full-time house wife. The trend is that she dedicates herself to a professional work and mostly combines it with domestic tasks. The husband is often involved in some house works.

However, levels of this involvement are not equal and women continue spending more time doing these chores.

A recent report of Whirpool american fundation, based on more than 7000 women interviewed in France, German, Italy, UK and Spain says that half of incomings at 86% of surveyed women state that looking after family is their responsibility.
This may be the reason why household products´ ads keep on having women as their primary target. Although, there is an increasing number of brands that try to integrate men in their communication.

It is clear that housewife role model is changing, but has household products´ advertising change as well?

If we consider the target, we could say no: women are still the target. The only difference is that woman is no longer a simple housewife, but a businesswoman. Let’s see some examples:


Despite the time passing by, the detergent keeps on “empowering” women.
In the first ad the woman is a mother that cares about her family. In the second one, the woman seems independent and powerful.


These washing machines adverts show two different types of women. The first print gives a great importance to the marriage ceremony and compares it with the moment of purchase. The second one presents a woman who knows caring about her best clothes.
We can notice some differences at Tv spots too:





There is no doubt that women are the target... always?

This campaign is an exception among hundreds of adverts which seem to be a copy of the ones broadcasted many years ago. I am referring to these ads in which mother struggles to clean her children’s clothes. Almost nothing has changed in these types of spots.

I wonder if advertising simply reproduces stereotypes and sexist patterns or is it a reflection of the reality…?

1 comment:

Mehwish said...

Really nice and informative blog, keep it up buddy.

Electrical Goods Manufacturer