Ad Critique: Amazon Kindle

This Amazon Kindle commercial reinforces many homosexual stereotypes represented in modern media. The stereotypical gay male represented in many television commercials is white, wealthy, upper class, and style-conscious. Wan-Hsiu Sunny Tsai writes, “gayness in the marketing discourse often is defined by high-end tastes and conspicuous consumption” (Tsai, 6). In this ad, Amazon is using the gay male’s approval of their product to portray it as high-end and fashionable.

The advertisement is also extremely heteronormative. In the advertisement, the man on the beach is portrayed as the “woman” of the relationship and the man getting drinks is the “man.” The man on the beach is not necessarily more feminine, rather his position in the relationship is represented through his likeness to the woman on the beach. The concept that one man must be the “woman” of the relationship and the other the “man” is a heteronormative stereotype. This aspect of the commercial contributes to the development of heterosexual norms. In Heteronormativity and the L Word, Samuel A. Chambers writes that a norm “implicitly, and sometimes explicitly, demands, presumes, expects and calls for the normal” (Chambers, 84). In this case, heterosexual positions in a homosexual relationship are the norm that the advertisement is reinforcing.

Reading the L Word: Outing Contemporary Television. Kim Akass and Janet McCabe, eds. New York: I.B. Tauris, 2006: 81-98.

Wan-Hsiu Sunny Tsai. “Assimilating the Queers: Representations of Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexual, and Transgender People in Mainstream Advertising.” Advertising & Society Review 11, no. 1 (2010) (accessed July 31, 2012).


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