Looking at the Southern Comfort ad, I would say it is geared to-wards the independent female sex. Southern Comfort is a drink women favor, so that’s the first sign for me.
The second indicator is that he is carrying all the packages and has a ball and chain around his ankle: (and, only one ball at that, insinuating he has been castrated) this all connotes that he is a slave as well as a eunuch.
He is also walking on the left, an inferior position. He is on the inside, a position reserved for the female, who is normally is protected street side, by her male ‘protector.’ He is out numbered 3 to 1, (females to males in the image). Plus, he has the light on his face, a position of weakness. The dominant, is always in the shadow! She is also very muscular, look at her legs, square shoulders, and triceps. Her left hand is ‘pulling’ him along like a mule, her hand is high up for that reason, (a lover would hold way down low, close to the wrist.)
Southern Comfort connotes geographical slave territory. (The Old South: with places like Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky, was slave town.) The slogan: “Your ‘Free’ time may have changed… ” another hint at slavery. His blue shirt/gray pants is another indicator: The Union was known as the ‘Blues’ and fought they Gray’s (Confederates) against slavery. An external signifier of his internal conflict. The Blue were in the North, on top, that why his shirt is Blue (on top) and not Gray (below) They have also just stepped over a demarcation on the ground. North/South dividing line? The North was not entirely free of slavery, some of the industrialists bought slaves from the South. The parallel lines on the ground look like plough sheer cuts in the ground, prepped for planting cotton, the primary job of the slave, he’s moving from one form of slavery to the next. This whole ad is showing who is in control.
They should have dressed her in a black business suit with boots and a riding crop, to go full bore. And, he should be pushing a pink baby carriage to top it off.
Here is an old ad that I like: Suntory Whisky. It’s simple and to the point. No hidden gender role manipulation, no humiliating anyone, female or male. It’s all about the product, and who the product appeals to, which is men, because whisky is a drink men prefer. The ad does appeal to a one’s vices, but I think we understand this going in.
(Links to an external site.)Photo credit: Sammy David Jr. Suntory Ad, Youtube.
Simple and to the point.
1. Whisky (on the rocks)
2. Cool Music
3. A good Smoke.
90% home. What more could one want to know about, experience, or enjoyment of a product.
A dominant for me.
I am in agreement with Roland Barthes statement: “Photography is a kind of primitive theatre, a kind of Tableau Vivant. . . ” He says further: “. . . revealing what was so well hidden, that the actor himself, was unaware or unconscious of it.” I have to say, that this goes as far as the viewer as well. Advertising or brainwashing is so powerful. Every second of the day, we are brainwashed what to buy, how to think, what to say, where to be, or what to wear. The internet, as marvelous as it is, has it’s price. Ad watch time creeping up a second at a time on youtube for example, so it’s now 6 seconds before you can skip it, has already increased it’s skip time by 100%, ads creeping up from the bottom of the screen, the top, the side, not allowing you to watch it unless you sign up. Challenging times.
Barthes, R. (1981). Camera lucida: Reflections on photography (1st American ed.). New York: Hill and Wang.