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Ads: Attracting Attention or Generating New Values? Essay

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Updated: Jan 20th, 2021

The advertisements have a tendency to reflect the existing structure of the society and its values. Nonetheless, the BMW advertisement (Choice 7) was chosen to evaluate and discover the initial intention of the ad and determine its ability to display the values, which are present in the society currently. The advertisement consists of the muscular male, which is displayed having the dominant position while having a sexual relationship with the woman. The interesting fact is that her face is covered with the open magazine, which shows the new model of BMW’s car (“The Ultimate Attraction”). It could be said that the man is firmly focused on the image of the car, and it seems that he does not pay attention to the fact that the woman has her arms around his neck (“The Ultimate Attraction”). He looks at her ‘face’ from the top, and he is highly focused on the car without paying attention to the surroundings. Lastly, the slogan of this advertisement campaign is located in the middle of the poster, “The ultimate attraction” (“The Ultimate Attraction”). In this instance, despite using advertisements to attract the attention of the customer, the dramatic dehumanization of the rights and values of the women is portrayed to underline materialism as one of the fundamental values of the American society due to the inability of the society to cherish the initial values of the human nature.

In this case, the intended meaning of the advertisement is to show the attraction of the men to the cars. It could be said that in this instance, this passion is compared to the sexual desire of the male to female, as one of the partners (female) is displayed with the open magazine instead of her face. The portrayal of the women as cars has a tendency to exist, as men feel that the cars are part of them (Quinn par. 1). It could be said that based on the following assumptions and observations, the intentional meaning of this BMW’s advertising campaign is the fact that the company promotes its cars as being unique and extremely desired by all of the men and women with the same passion as the men have for women. It is evident that the following product will benefit men, but it will also make them feel in control of the situation. It is apparent the BMW intend to say ‘buy our cars to feel in control of the situation’. The phrase “The ultimate attraction” just underlines the initial intention of the marketing campaign by comparing the sexual desire with the ownership of the BMW’s vehicles (“The Ultimate Attraction”). Nowadays, cars are an important part of our lives, and BMW emphasizes their significance with the assistance of this advertisement.

As for the cultural context and ideological meaning, the BMW’s advertisement reflects the dominance of patriarchic nature of the American society, as the man physically dominates the woman on the poster. In this instance, Hofstede portrays a vehement analysis of the various determinants of the cultural aspects such as power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, masculinity, long-term goal setting, and indulgence (8). In the context of this advertisement, the primary factors are masculinity and indulgence. In this instance, the levels of indulgence and masculinity remain high in the American society (“The Hofstede Center” par. 4).

The presence of these dimensions has a high reflection in the advertisement, as the man, who is the symbol of dominance and masculinity, plays the central role of the poster. Moreover, the high level of indulgence is also portrayed on the poster, as, in this instance, the members of the American society have a tendency to spend a significant number of resources on entertainment. Nonetheless, the advertisement also reflects that women are considered as the physical objects, which lack rights. It is evident that women were always actively fighting for the equality, and it could be said that this battle continues to some extent today (DeLuzio and Mancall xi). In this instance, BMW strongly underlines this features and displays it in an aggressive way. It could be said that in this case, the advertisement seems shocking and immoral, as the passion for the cars is portrayed as the desire for the women. Consequently, women are not treated as one of the primary parts of the society, as males strongly dominate the leading position in all aspects of the social life.

It is evident that various symbols, which are displayed in the advertisement, assist in revealing the primary goal and hidden intention of the BMW’s marketers. In this instance, it is apparent that all of the small symbols, which are portrayed on the poster, add and contribute to the understanding of the social values. It could be said that it is evident that male was always a symbol of power and dominance (Wit 60). In this instance, the man occupies the controlling position on the poster (“The Ultimate Attraction”). In turn, on the advertisement, it has to be mentioned that it is evident that the man is in control of the situation and has the power over the woman. It seems that he is able to control her like a car. Moreover, in this instance, the woman is presented as some physical object, which can be actively manipulated by the man. It is evident that implication of the semiotic analysis contributes to the reveal of the fundamental problems in the American society such as materialism, consumerism, and gender inequality. It is evident that the analysis of the symbols shows the shocking nature of the advertisement and cruelty of the current social principles related to the gender bias. Lastly, the analysis exposes the fact that the women remain exploited for the various purposes, and this fact is disturbing.

As for the thematic analysis, its fundamental goal is to display the particular themes of the American culture, which are strongly emphasized in the advertisements. In this instance, the perception about the body portrayal in the advertisements is not relevant, as no nudity is present. Moreover, the face of the woman is covered with the magazine, which displays a new model of BMW. In this case, no perceptions and understanding of the beauty are also discovered, as not particular attention is paid to the physical attributes of the male and female. Nonetheless, the previous analyses revealed that the man has a dominating position in the ad. In this instance, the theme can be generalized as a determination of the individual status of the female in the American society. It is apparent that the problem is significant and has to be discovered in more details. Nevertheless, the advertisement remains cruel and shocking since it creates the image of the vast lack of rights of the female. Moreover, another theme is the dominance of consumerism and materialism in the American culture, as; in this case, the woman lacks the fundamental aspects of the physical appearance (face) and is considered as a product for exchange. Lastly, it is apparent that the combination of these factors creates a negative perception in the society regarding consumerism and position of the women in the social hierarchy.

In conclusion, it could be said that the modern advertisements have a tendency to use sexual content to attract the attention of the customers. A similar situation occurred with the BWM advertisement, as, in this instance the woman is portrayed as an object and does not have any value for the man. The dominance of patriarchic nature of the American culture and consideration of the woman’s body as an actively sold object are the primary issues, which are vehemently reflected in the advertisement by BWM. It is apparent that the complexity of the advertisements cannot be underestimated, as each element on the poster has a particular contribution to the overall image. Nonetheless, the BMW’s advertisement discriminates the rights of the woman and portrays her as an object, which can be exchanged. It could be said that the dehumanization and lack of respect for the females’ freedoms are displayed as the primary context of the BMW’s advertisement. In this case, BMW underlines the significance of the existing values of the society and cultivates the understanding of their importance. It could be said that it emphasizes the importance of the gender distinction in the form of the abusive and discriminating advertisement. It is apparent that the advertisement should not be displayed in the abusive and sexual way, as it affects the society’s perceptions about the matter.

Works Cited

DeLuzio, Crista, and Peter Mancall. Women’s Rights: People and Perspectives. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2009. Print.

Hofstede, Geert. “Dimensionalizing Cultures: The Hofstede Model in Context.” Online Readings in Psychology and Culture 2.1 (2011): 1-28. Print.

The Hofstede Center 2015. Web.

Quinn, Ben. “Men Love Cars ‘Because They’re Part of Them.” The Telegraph 2007. Web.

“The Ultimate Attraction” 2012. JPEG file. Web.

Wit, Gerard. Symbolism of Masculinity and Femininity: An Empirical Phenomenological Approach to Developmental Aspects of Symbolic Thought in Word Associations and Symbolic Meaning of Words. New York: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, 2013. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Ads: Attracting Attention or Generating New Values?" January 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ads-attracting-attention-or-generating-new-values/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Ads: Attracting Attention or Generating New Values'. 20 January.

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