Jessie Nichols- Ads as discourses

Posted: January 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

In the “Advertising in the Age of Accelerated Meaning” reading that we were assigned this week, Goldman and Papson discussed how ads can be seen as discourses that promote a normative vision of our world and our relationships.  They also state that advertising has upheld culturally predominant ways of seeing things.  This idea reminded me of a quote that I heard in a film about advertising that was shown in a previous class.  The quote was from Paul Marciano (co-founder of GUESS) in which he discusses representations of gender in Guess advertisements.  He said “When I came here, I fell in love with the American West. I set the ads in the West because you will not see any change there.” When explaining what he meant by this he said “Women are treated with great respect, but it is assumed they know their place, which is supportive, and their function, which is often decorative.”  When reading that section of the Goldman and Papson article I was reminded of these problematic quotes from Marciano and the fact that all to often the culturally predominant ways of seeing things that are reflected in advertisements display women as extremely unequal and most often only in subordinate roles.  Sadly this representation of women has become predominant in the advertising world and also widely accepted.

Here is an Example of a GUESS ad which reflects Marcianos quotes Image


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