Romance, Gender, and Sex Appeal

It seems that the site I wanted you to read about these appeals is down–or at least, that part of the site. However, I still want to do this exercise, since these 3 appeals are EVERYWHERE (and not just in advertising– in everyday conversations). So, I’m just going to write a little explanation of each one.

For each appeal, please provide 2 examples, the context of each example, and an analysis of each example, in the comments on this post. Due by Wednesday 3/11 at 4:30 pm.

Romance Appeal

Romance appeal is one way to use pathos. When we appeal to the idea of romance, we’re utilizing the fact that most people desire some kind of romantic love. Think of commercials that feature couples staring lovingly at each other while using the product (like most jewelry commercials), or that feature someone asking another person out and having them say yes. Romance appeal also applies to any argument that carries the assumption that you ought to desire a romantic relationship, or subscribe to particular standards of what a “good/ideal” romantic relationship is.

Gender Appeal

There are many ways to be masculine, many ways to be feminine, and many ways to be androgynous. Rhetoric that uses gender appeals both plays on people’s desires to embody a particular variation of their gender and creates arguments about what “correct” behaviors for that gender are.

For example, an Axe Deodorant commercial might show a man doing physical labor things, might include a voiceover with a deep voice, etc. A Dove soap commercial might show a woman taking a luxurious bubble bath and shaving her legs.

Both of these examples say, “[Doing physical labor/spending a lot of time on personal grooming and shaving body hair] is the right way to be a [man/woman], and this product will help you do that.” Children might learn messages about what toys are appropriate for boys and what toys are for girls by who they see playing with what toys in commercials.

Gender appeal doesn’t have to always be about negative stereotypes, though. What about commercials that show women getting awards, or men being loving dads? These are saying “women can achieve big,” and “a good man spends time taking care of his kids.” You can ask yourself, does the gender of the person seem to matter to the power of the message, or is it incidental?

Outside of advertising, any gendered message like “Boys don’t cry” or “X isn’t ladylike” is using the gender appeal. It’s using your identity as someone with that gender to persuade you to do/not do a certain thing.

Sex Appeal

This one is probably the easiest. Is the message designed to be erotic, to arouse the audience? Or to say, “you will be sexually desirable if you do X”? Then it’s sex appeal. Hardees commercials often use sex appeal.

8 thoughts on “Romance, Gender, and Sex Appeal

  1. Tiffany Flores

    Romance Appeal
    Example 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyjjKAtvsuw
    Context: In this commercial it shows a man proposing to a woman. Then another mans voice says how the ring that he’s proposing with is going to be seen by everybody. So the ring you purchase has to be the best ring you’ve ever seen (Implying if the ring isn’t the best everyone will judge the man who was proposing).

    Example 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NemtQx0m0Ss
    Context: This commercial shows a relationship that revolves around gum. You can see the man writing on the wrappers of the gum throughout the commercial. Towards the end all of the wrappers are displayed with all of their relationships milestones (the last wrapper being of him proposing). The woman turns around and he is down on one knee proposing. Many people (including myself) think this commercial is so romantic or would be considered “relationship goals”. This commercial does a good job showing off that the gum brought them together.

    Gender Appeal
    Example 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozuWoZITX3Y
    Context: This commercial shows a woman presumably about to clean until the mr clean man shows up out of nowhere and cleans the entire house (She is very attracted to him). At the end of the commercial the mr clean man turns into her husband but she is still very attracted to him because he cleaned the entire house for her. (It’s traditional for women to stay home and clean while men work)

    Example 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfJJeVHt57o
    Context: This commercial shows a man trying to get to a woman throughout multiple different decades but something always stops him from getting to her. It cuts to current day when he buys axe, once he sprays it on himself the woman appears right behind him and he gets the girl. Axe is implying if you wear axe body spray you will get the woman of your dreams (as every man should).

    Sex Appeal
    Example 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9YX3OrmRAo
    Context: This commercial is making a joke out of why people actually go to hooters… for the wings. Its obvious people go to hooters because of how the women are dressed. In the commercial they use shots of very beautiful women with wings serving tables. It is meant to attract people into the restaurant because its showing beautiful women work there.

    Example 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SrpARP_M0o
    Context: This video showcases a bunch of sex appeal ads. The twist is that the roles are reversed. It shows how ridiculous sex appeal ads are when they’re played by men and not women.

    Reply
  2. Riad S Abdullayev

    Romance appeal:
    1) The famous series of Durex adds about “orgasm inequality”, which is aiming common heterosexual couples problem of speed issues. The add claims that their product makes the orgasm timing better for both.
    https://www.mumbrella.asia/2019/06/durex-takes-on-orgasm-inequality-in-india-with-new-campaign-from-havas

    2) In this add, we can see how a woman is enjoying her morning yogurt which makes her happy and flirty with her girlfriend.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=28&v=b3Z5pAZe0E8&feature=emb_title

    Gender Appeal:
    1) I remember seeing this ad a few years ago and it has inspired me. I like the way they are breaking the stereotype that doing like a girl doesn’t mean doing bad. Also, they are sending an important message for young women that the most important thing is to be themselves.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs
    2) Gillette’s critically acclaimed (by conservatives, which is not surprising at all) commercial regarding toxic masculinity, which focuses more on how men should not behave.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koPmuEyP3a0

    Sex Appeal:
    1) As I understood some of the sex appeal ads can be quite subjective since everyone’s sexual preferences are different, so I’d like to share one that immediately came to my mind and that worked for me a few months back when I just saw the ad:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvV67SBpqCw

    2) It is quite obvious that underwear ads supposed to be sexualized but this one might be one of the most discussed ads that Calvin Klein ever had. I bought underwear there (even though it is ridiculously overpriced) and also, I started to listen to Shawn Mendes’s songs
    https://www.google.com/search?q=shawn+mende+calvin+klein+ad&sxsrf=ALeKk02nToJ7k8q4DQSuV__1DrsVWQGdaA:1584036487569&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj9k5zhw5XoAhU1l3IEHT4kAaMQ_AUoAXoECAwQAw#imgrc=2PfXRCORKlEHcM

    P.S. I am sorry for missing the deadline. Yesterday I was to busy by freaking out because of all these coronavirus things.

    Reply
  3. Lessley Perez

    MASCULINE & FEMININE APPEAL:

    Example 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3u6c004eUw
    Ad by Secret Deodorant: Camila Mendes promotes secret deodorant and female empowerment.

    Context: In this ad, Camila promotes Secret’s new deodorant and how with its new product that contains “pure essential oils” a woman can now “be feminine and fierce”. My take on this ad would be that with this new product, a woman can now have the confidence of moving around freely and know they have a good deodorant that gives a pleasant smell.

    Example 2: Gillette Venus: “Gorgeous skin in one smooth stroke” *picture of woman with recently shaved legs, sitting on boarded floor with water as background*

    Context: In this ad, the model is showing off her smooth legs after using Gillette Venus’ razor. According to its short quote and the model posed, using this razor will leave ones legs hairless with no effort at all.

    Romance Appeal:

    Example 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYX7FVfgowY

    Context: This ad is a young man who “never smiles”, upon learning this, another girl goes up to him and makes him smile. When he does, the girl sees skittles inside his mouth instead of teeth. This provokes her to kiss him. My take from this ad, is that as teens, we are called out to by candies and junk food, this causes us to sometimes share with friends or even a bf/gf. By sharing, we can create memories that will last a lifetime. For example, I remember once I opened a bag of chips and right on top was the biggest chip I had ever seen! I was so surprised and planned on sending a picture of it to my best friend because those were her favorite. I was not given the chance to do so because my friend was sitting next to me and he swooped it out of my hand and ate the whole chip! I was mad but later laughed at the incident.

    Example 2: https://photos.google.com/?tab=iq1&pageId=none

    Context: In this ad a newly wed couple are sitting in a car. Baume & Mercier watches are being promoted in this ad with a caption that reads “Life is about moments… celebrating elegance since 1830”. I think that this is very similar to those ads that say “time is love” and also promote watches. My take from this ad is that at every minute, new memories are being made and we should be aware of the time in which our best moments are happening.

    Sex Appeal:

    Example 1: https://images.app.goo.gl/ikWZJMC1ZaH7Htbb8

    Context: this ad shows the correlation between beer and women when it comes to men. What better way to get men to buy Budweiser beer than having a model posing in front of a Budweiser seductively?

    Example 2: https://images.app.goo.gl/8YXqzT5YFUwJnuwm9

    Context: This ad is from Burger King, promoting their “BK Super Seven Incher”. It’s caption says that “It’ll blow your mind away”. I think because it is one inch bigger than what regular fast food places sell, such as Subway. The bigger the better because people want more and more food as they continue to eat it since sometimes, fast food can be addictive.

    Reply
  4. Rig Cona

    Sex Appeal

    Example 1: https://images.app.goo.gl/pKSAkh7m2Qdn3QZ2A

    ad: 50 Shades of Gray
    Context: This ad is a picture of the popular book turned into a movie 50 Shades of Gray. It shows the man grabbing the women while her hands are up seeming to be tied up. It also shows that the movie came out on Valentine day (not sure what year).

    Analysis: My thoughts on this is simple, the movie came out on Valentine day which is the ideal holiday for romance. I’m sure they promoted the movie as the book was out first and I remember a lot of women were going crazy reading the book everywhere I went. This was catered to women in having them fantasies about a multimillionaire having his way with them in bed, while living an amazing life of traveling and shopping. Between all the promotion, the book and the fact that the movie was coming out during V-Day, it was a very effective ad to make a lot of money during the box opening weekend.

    Example 2: https://images.app.goo.gl/GLwhbaWHqTCCnnTc6
    Context: Antonio Federici Gelato. In this ad you see a women dressed as a nun and a man dressed as a priest in what seems to be the beginning of the gelato leading to seductive behavior.

    Analysis: My thoughts on this is that the Gelato is so delicious (saying in a sexy way) that it will lead to some form of fornication. No matter what your beliefs are.

    Romance Appeal

    Example 1: https://images.app.goo.gl/79uFw6Kc6eEtYe6F9
    Context: Days of our lives Soap opera, First aired November 8, 1965 and is still currently on the air.

    Analysis: This is the epitome of romantic stories developing over time, as it highlights certain loves and downfalls of a relationship. It has been one of the longest soap operas on the air that is still being viewed. The network promotes it by showing certain scenes to have people on the edge of their seats and tune in to see what happens next time.

    Example 2: Disney Movies
    Context: I just wrote Disney movies because a lot of the movies (not all) show certain relationships in them i.e. Aladdin, Beauty and the beast, Cinderella etc.

    Analysis: All these movies sum up all the ideal outcomes of a relationship, everyone always lives happily ever after. Truth be told, this is far from accurate as it is hard to live happily ever after as there is always something that happens in the relationship (not saying that always happens). All the ads that show these movies always highlight those relationships that makes people always want to see what a perfection romantic relationship can be.

    Gender Appeal

    Example 1 (Masculine): Bodybuilding.com
    Context: When you type in Bodybuilding whether in google search or going to the website typically you see a male body builder.

    Analysis: My thoughts on this is that it shows majority of the pictures being male because it is perceiving that men are more stronger then females. This is not necessarily true but as soon as you say bodybuilding the stereotype is a male flexing showing his muscles. Now and days there are many female bodybuilders, but first thought that comes to mind when searching is a that of a man.

    Example 2 (Feminine): https://images.app.goo.gl/QKjy4HxHCAX8PY1u5
    Context: Get your home squeaky Clean, in this ad it shows a picture of a female showing what is being offered as part of the cleaning service.

    Analysis: My thoughts on this is that when someone thinks of cleaning services or cleaning products it gets associated with a female cleaning or offering services for a price. Even when you say the words it usually is “Cleaning lady” and not “Cleaning man” although there are Men who clean but those are usually referred to as “Janitors”.

    Reply
  5. KAMILLA JELANNIKOVA

    The Romance appeal
    Example 1
    In the ad young girl and boy are seen having their first kiss down the bottom of the garden. After sharing their moment the couple morphs into a young couple, then a slightly older one, with the kiss getting progressively more passionate, before the lovers become old and grey-haired, but with no signs of their rampancy abating.

    https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/valentines-day-top-10-most-shared-romantic-ads-ever/1230932

    Example 2
    The ad make the dates even more intense, when the contestants meet for dinner they are told that they can only eat by feeding each other.

    http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2016/knorr-love-at-first-taste/

    The Gender Appeal

    Example 1
    In the ad, a female boss tells an employee that he has to stay late to finish a project. By the end of the spot, you realize that he’s not just working for her—he’s also her husband. (Ad#5 Airtel)

    https://contently.com/2015/10/09/5-ad-campaigns-that-shatter-gender-stereotypes/

    Example 2
    Two featuring new dads bungling comically while looking after their babies.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/aug/14/first-ads-banned-for-contravening-gender-stereotyping-rules

    The Sex Appeal

    Example 1
    Sex is everywhere; in movies we watch, in the conversations we hear and in the advertisements we see daily. Sexually-stimulating images are irresistible to look at, but are they enough to arouse interest in actually buying the product.

    https://www.studyfinds.org/sex-appeal-ads-advertisements/

    Example 2
    Sparkling water is indeed sexy when poured over the heaving bosom of Dita von Teese. (AD#4 Perrier.)

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sex-sells-ads-should-have-thought-twice_n_4653226

    Hi Professor, I am very apologize for the late post .

    Reply
  6. Kareem Johnson

    Romance Appeal:

    1: Coca Cola’s Happiness ad is an example of Romance Appeal because in this ad a man holding a coca-cola with a woman draped around his arm smiling.

    https://rampages.us/eldopest/2016/11/18/coke-ad-fallacy/

    2: Ralph Lauren’s Romance ads are examples of Romance because it shows their relationship improving through the photos and getting more physical.

    https://wwd.com/beauty-industry-news/beauty-features/ralph-lauren-lauren-tender-romance-10356175/

    Sex Appeal:

    1: A famous and attractive artist who gets all the girls giggling and excited is an example of someone who has sex appeal.

    2: Manga artists drawing busty female characters to attract male audience to their content is a form of Sex Appeal.

    Gender Appeal:

    1: (MASCULINE) Old Spice’s ads with Terry Crews is a form of Gender Appeals because Terry Crews is the epitome of the “ideal” ripped and muscular man and he’s telling to buy this product because it helps even him be manly.

    2: (FEMININE) Ads that suggest that using creams or lotions will make their female buyers younger.

    Reply

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