Past Prejudices Evolve Into Present Promotions

I know that the premise of this blog is primarily based around Dr. Pepper 10’s advertising campaign and it’s sexist message. However, I believe it is important to recognize and address the numerous past examples of sexism within the media.

It should come to know surprise that advertisers play off of stereotypes and generalizations in order to sell a product. Part of being in advertising is establishing and identifying the target audiences/key publics that would most likely buy the advertised product/image and promote accordingly. However, there is an important difference between advertising with a specific audience in mind, and discriminating against another by using various forms of discrimination.

In much earlier times, before people began to speak out against advertisers use of obvious forms of “-isms,” advertisements incorporated blatant forms of sexism, racism, etc. in order to more closely identify with their targeted audiences. And so I present to you a collection of vintage prejudice at its finest:

My only question is, while the copy presented in these ads may have become more sensitized for the mass media in modern times, why are the images and themes involved still found in modern advertising? Modern advertisements may not be as straight-forward in their messages like depicted above, but they still play on the stereotypical gender roles that those examples show. Women are continually shown to be subservient, fragile, and delicate, whose sole purpose is predominantly housework and/or to sexually appeal towards men. While society may think that we have progressed from the sexist viewpoints of years past, a closer observation and analyzation of current advertisements shows otherwise.


3 thoughts on “Past Prejudices Evolve Into Present Promotions

  1. Awesome blog! I really like how you tied in these past advertisements to kinda show how we should have evolved from this (but we aren’t). I think it really demonstrates that even though we are appalled and offended by these past ones, we don’t really think twice about the current ones that have similar meaning. Can’t wait to read more of this! – Amy Logan

  2. While the past advertisements have very blunt taglines attached to their images, the pictures themselves are definitely still shown in today’s society. The sexy, perfect housewife is still ideal among men and women (whether the women want to believe it). Women want to feel sexy, and men want to look at sexy women. However, to put men above women is where we need to draw the line. Women and men should be portrayed equally and it shouldn’t have to take a man to open a bottle of ketchup.

  3. I can’t believe that these ads were ever considered to be acceptable. It’s great that you put time into finding old ads like these to show the evolution of sexism in advertising. Great blog!

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