In society today, are genders equal, or still segregated? How do printed ads have an influence on the way consumers portray gender stereotypes? Many different companies use these gender roles to create ads that relate to their audience. Other companies however, exaggerate these roles and gain even more attention from consumers. This works because there is this counterculture in our society. The counterculture wants to rebel against what is proper and acceptable to the general public. Basically, the counterculture is fitting in by rebelling against what was always conventional (Frank). Dolce and Gabbana is a high end name in fashion and is always straddling the line of what is acceptable and what is an outrage in advertising. They base their advertisements on ideas and issues that people are not yet comfortable with. However, they have found ways to keep printing and posting their advertisements everywhere. We have this image as a society that men and women have certain stereotypes they must fulfill. With the ads of Dolce and Gabbana, those expectations and labels are completely destroyed and replaced with something controversial and out of the ordinary. They print such controversial ads because they know it will get more exposure and attract more consumers. The advertising methods of Dolce and Gabbana are effective because they appeal to the idea of rebellion and the counterculture.
A common gender stereotype is that men are the stronger of the two sexes. In the first
Dolce and Gabbana ad, there is a woman pinned to the ground by a man while three other men stand and watch. This demonstrates the label of the man as the stronger and more powerful sex. The ad displays the man overpowering the woman. Also, the fact that there are more men
than woman highlights male dominance. The image of the woman unable to break the hold of the male portrays weakness of females. The model has a look of hopelessness on her face; however it doesn’t seem as if she is struggling to be released. She instead accepts this male empowerment while sporting gorgeous, probably uncomfortable heels, a barely there outfit, and bright red lipstick. The man directly behind the woman has a strong stance. He has his hands on his hips and is slightly looking down. The way he is standing and positioned gives the effect that he is strong and dominant. Another image of male strength is the chiseled muscles and abdomens of all the men in the advertisement. Muscle definition is directly related to the idea of strength; the more defined the muscles, the stronger the man. Dolce and Gabbana captured this common relation in the advertisement.
Another gender norm is that women are expected to look perfect and feminine.
Although this specific woman is in this situation, she still looks gorgeous. She has on extremely high, black, strappy sandals. She also has her hair done perfectly, not a single strand out of place. Her legs are smooth and shiny and her outfit, impeccable. Not even a tiny smudge of her red feminine lipstick. While she is being held down, she still looks flawless. In addition, while the males have a darker complexion, the woman has lighter, luminous skin. It almost looks as if she is glowing. Dolce and Gabbana amplifies this common societal idea. In reality, a woman would not normally be seen held down by a man while others stand around all while looking faultless. However, this is usually expected of the female gender, to always look presentable no matter what the situation may be.
Dolce and Gabbana has a way of over exaggerating the common molds of society.
Another marketing strategy used by Dolce and Gabbana is reversing these molds and creating a new perspective. In another ad, there are two men naked posing as mannequins. There are three women, fully clothed with the latest Dolce and Gabbana wear, positioning the men. The lighting in the ad also has an effect on the message it sends. The women are illuminated in the light while the men are dulled in the shadows of the women. It is as if the women are overshadowing the men, which creates the illusion of her dominating him. This reversal shows female control over the males. The weakness of the man is also shown by his lack of clothing.
Furthermore, the fact that they are acting as mannequins shows that the woman controls the man, portraying female power. The women display the mannequins in positions that show the men are weaker than the women in this particular advertisement. In the real world however, men are generally the stronger sex. Dolce and Gabbana’s transposition of gender stereotypes appeals to the counterculture, who wants to go against what is accepted in society.
Although the last two ads mentioned have had an emphasis on labels of the different genders, Dolce and Gabbana has made sure they didn’t forget to portray reality. In a third advertisement, there are men and women equally. This advertisement is not as intense as the last two. Rather than using shadows to show which is the lesser of the two genders, the entire ad is light and radiant. All of the models are wearing clothing with a lighter shade, mostly white which creates an image of purity and peace. There are also greenery and flowers in the background. This definitely adds to the illustration that the company is attempting to convey.
This addition of nature into the picture brings a calming and content mood to people. Some of the models are even smiling, which also depicts the vivaciousness and equality of genders. This
type of ad is rare to find with Dolce and Gabbana, who focuses on images and ideas that are out of the ordinary.
The high end fashion name of Dolce and Gabbana uses effective advertising methods that appeal to the idea of rebellion and the counterculture. By over exaggerating, or even reversing the roles that have been familiar to society for so long, they attract the attention of those who deny the norm. The counterculture refuses to conform to society so instead they want to be different from everyone else. However, the counterculture is a popular idea practiced by so many consumers. So when people are trying to stand out and be different, they are actually conforming to the counterculture and fitting in. Using strategies to appeal to the counterculture is not the only means of luring in consumers to buy a product. Advertisement companies around the world are constantly brainstorming new ways to captivate their audience. Whether they use bright colors, creative images, background music or emotional appeals, advertisement companies are constantly sucking consumers in.