Gender Perceptions in Television Advertising
It is well-known, what a strong influence on the person of the mass media. They are one of the main sources of socialization of the individual along with the family, the school and other public associations. Any information passing through the social institutions we are considering instantly penetrates into the minds of people and forms various opinions, attitudes, stereotypes in it, with the help of which each person builds his attitude to the perceived information. But most often in the transfer of information along with it is transmitted and then the opinion, the attitude to its content, which some people want to form from others.
One way or another, there are always gender stereotypes in advertising, it constantly shapes the images of a man and a woman from the majority of viewers. But these images and stereotypes also depend on our self-esteem, perception of others, choice of profession, and, ultimately, all our behavior.
Therefore, at present it is important to study the socio-psychological nature of gender roles and stereotypes. In our work, we tried to consider gender differences in television advertising, as advertising on television is the most common and has an impact on viewers on several sensory channels (visual, auditory), transferring and forming images of a man and a woman.
This issue becomes more relevant if we consider this problem from the point of view of youth. As a moving part of society, young people form values in accordance with the attitudes and stereotypes adopted in society. And often it is advertising that forms the standards of behavior, the activities of men and women.
The purpose of our study is to compare gender perceptions in television advertising with the images of the ideal man and ideal woman among modern youth.
The study involved students from various faculties of the Omsk State University. F.M. Dostoevsky, aged 17 to 22, in the number of 51 people. Among them: 29 girls and 22 young people. In our work we applied the method of semantic differential and questioning.
During the first questionnaire survey, we found the most memorable videos – “male” and “female” advertising.
In “male” advertising, most young men mention advertising beer (“Arsenalnoe beer”, “Stolichnoe”, “Tolstyak”, “Klinskoe”). Girls also often refer to the advertising of chewing gum “Dirol” (gymnast on the crossbar) and advertising of male lotions, deodorants (“Nivea”, “OldSpice”).
In the “women’s” advertising, all respondents, regardless of gender, chose to advertise the air conditioner “Lenor”. Advertising of coffee “MaxWellHouse” attracted most of the girls, and the young people showed more interest in advertising chewing gum “Dirol” with Julia Menshova.
Using the method of semantic differential, we identified the main factors that determine “male” and “female” advertising. Evaluating the “male” advertising, both girls and boys sing out the power factor; the second most important factor for young men is the activity factor, while the girls have an evaluation factor. This can be explained by the fact that girls focus on the external attractiveness of advertising, and young people pay attention to the dynamic nature of the advertising story in “male” advertising. Dynamism is confirmed by the results of the survey, where young men note that in “male” advertising they are attracted by the movements, actions of men; plot; fast music.
In advertising, where the main character is a woman, both young men and girls sing out the evaluation factor. The respondents associate this advertising less with activity. This is confirmed by the data of the questionnaire, in which girls and young men indicated that women’s appearance attracted them in “women’s” advertising.
In the questionnaire, the girls note that the ideal man should be strong, hardy, bold. And, according to the young men, the ideal man is an intelligent, erudite person. This can be explained by the fact that all the young respondents are students of the university, who seek to gain knowledge and higher education.
For girls, the ideal woman should be home, family, caring. And at the same time, the ideal woman is cute, beautiful; gentle, kind. Young men believe that the ideal woman is beautiful and pretty; intelligent and educated (“but not smarter than a man”). But, highlighting such qualities as home, family; economic, industrious, young men assign a place to a woman near a home. Therefore, the image of a domestic, family, affectionate woman prevails both in the opinions of the girls and in the opinions of the young men.
The results of the questionnaire as a whole also confirm the estimates by the semantic differential. Those. the ideal man, according to respondents, and the image of a man in advertising is strong, enduring, independent, but female respondents note in “male” advertising one more additional quality inherent in people as a drinker, which can be explained by a large number of beer commercials.
As for the image of a woman, here we can note two main points: a woman in advertising is beautiful, pretty, gentle and soft. But at the same time, she has many problems (she then erases, then prepares, then cleans, then she washes). Thus, the image of an ideal woman practically coincides with the image of a woman formed in Russian advertising. In Russia, the woman still remains the keeper of the hearth, whereas in the “Western” advertising the image of a woman gradually turns into the image of a businesswoman, an active woman, bisnesswoman.
Thus, as our study showed, in the opinion of the majority of students stereotypical gender images produced by advertising affect the formation of the ideal image of a man and a woman in modern youth, and the “advertising” stereotypes concerning the relationship between the sexes and the stereotypes about men and women coincide with the opinion of the majority of student youth.