Thursday, May 20, 2010

Feminine Sexuality in Doir Perfume Advertising


Being attractive has become a top priority to many young women in today’s society.  This may be because beauty is equated with success in more ways than one.  These ideas are widely known and seen throughout popular culture, and therefore, advertisers take advantage of this in any way possible.  Feminine sexuality has become an increasingly popular theme in advertising, including commercial ads, billboards, and specifically advertisements in magazines.  What is very interesting about this however, is the fact that not only is feminine sexuality used in advertisements targeting men, but it has also become extremely popular among popular women’s product ads.  Ultimately, the use of feminine sexuality has become so prominent in advertising through popular culture, that it is even successfully used for products marketed to women.

                Perfume is one product widely used among the female population, and therefore is also a highly advertised product throughout various forms of the media.  Dior perfume advertisements depict the marketing strategy of feminine sexuality in a high percentage of their advertisements.  Through suggestive poses and seductive looks, the models in these advertisements epitomize a sense of beauty that many young women who would purchase this perfume desire.  This in itself says a lot femininity through the eyes of popular culture, and therefore society.  In addition, a few of the advertisements contain women holding the bottle of perfume in front of their mouths, while the rest of the body is in one of the very sexual poses and in minimal, if any clothing, suggesting that women should let their bodies do the talking, again establishing femininity as powerless unless sexuality is evident. In Kilbourne’s, “The More You Subtract the More You Add,” she states “These mass delusions sell a lot of products … involving girls in false quests for power and control" (Kilbourne 264)  The women in these advertisements are close to naked in many instances and that along with the seductive pose creates a beautiful and therefore successful woman.  Once the Dior perfume is added to this image, that too becomes associated with beauty and success, and that is very marketable to young women.

                The phrase “sex sells” has become increasingly popular when considering effective marketing and advertising techniques.  Although sex itself does not literally sell these products, any sexuality in an advertisement will attract consumers to the product.  This is because when viewing advertisements, many people will see the sexuality in the ad and subconsciously equate that with the idea that by using the product in the ad, she will in turn become that sexual figure.  In “Cosmetics: A Clinique Case Study,” the authors say “The woman reader can equate the beauty, sexuality, or pleasure she will achieve with the aesthetics and attributes of the product” (Kirkham and Weller 271).  Therefore, these marketing strategies are solely based on the product being sold on a basis of gender.  The women in the ads with the Dior perfume have a sexual appeal and are beautiful, two characteristics that popular culture relates to femininity, and two characteristics that the target population of the perfume desire.


Works Cited
Dior. Advertisement. The House of Ellery. Web. .
Dior. Advertisement. MagXone. Web. .
Dior. Advertisement. Emma's Plastic Blog. Web. .
Dior. Advertisement. Mimi Frou Frou. Web. .
Dior. Advertisement. Posh 24. Web. .
Dior. Advertisement. Perfume Shrine. Web.
Dior. Advertisement. Min=mi Frou Frou. Web. .
Dior. Advertisement. Style Killing. Web. .
Dior. Advertisement. Web Shots. Web. .
Kilbourne, Jean. "The More You Subtract, the More You Add" in Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A text reader, eds. Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez (London: SAGE Publications, 2003).
Kirkham, Pat & Alex Weller. Cosmetics: A Clinique Case Study. The Gendered Object. Manchester University Press. 1996.


4 comments:

  1. Things I Liked:
    I thought your point that ads for women's products rely so much on portraying feminine sexuality; some of the pictures in your collage could be straight of of Maxim if it weren't for the Dior logo. I also definitely agree with your statement that sex sells these products because the ads make it seem like using it will automatically turn you into the woman in the ad.

    Points to Improve:
    Your Kilbourne quote mentions "false quests for power and control". Elaborating more on this in that paragraph could have been helpful. Also, the next paragraph does talk about this, but switching the quotes around could have reinforced what you were saying in the second and third paragraphs.

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  2. I'm definitely on the same page as Brendan with his feedback for you, Lauren. However, I would add that you should specify the Dior product in the thesis. Additionally, be specific about the authors you're citing in the two following paragraphs (instead of "according to the authors") and just write: According to Katz, (or whomever you're referring to) and then don't include the author's last name in the parenthetical reference (because you won't need to when the name is already used in the same sentence that includes the quote).
    Overall, nice work....the collage turned out fabulously!
    :o)
    Jessie

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