One of the categories that Erving Goffman used to describe gender roles in advertising is the family. According to Goffman, proper positioning of the different members of a nuclear family can be used as a symbolization of the family’s social structure.
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As far as the presentation of family in commercials is concerned, Goffman concluded that the allocation of at least one girl and one boy properly symbolizes proper intra-family relations. As per Goffman’s assertion, for an advertisement employing the family category, unity is established between the boy and the father, as well as between the girl and the mother.
In the 7Up advertisement above, the main marketing strategy was to present the drink as something that unifies the whole family. In the picture there is a father, mother, son and daughter, representing a nuclear family. The father is sitting closer to the son and they are engaged in the technical elements of the train on the table. The mother and daughter have been placed close together and are playing the subsidiary role of watchers. The toy train is on the table for the whole family to derive entertainment from.
However, each member of the family enjoys it in his/her own unique way. This is the message that the marketers of the drink wanted to convey-that the drink is suitable for the whole family, which can be enjoyed differently by different people.