The “Show Your Joe” commercial featured above is an example of the gender binary that exists within advertising and media in general. This ad, choosing to feature good-looking handsome men and bells on their balls, has caused massive outrage in society; however, the ad isn’t the problem- the problem is that if this were an advertisement featuring women in the places of men, the backlash would be substantially less.
The public has grown accustomed to the sexualization of women’s bodies, the presentation of women in just their underwear, acting sexually by rubbing their bodies or being fragmented by the camera’s gaze. But when the roles are changed, when the camera is turned on a somewhat sexualized man (who is actually more dressed than the majority of women in commercials), it is indecent, in poor taste and an affront to the holiday season. While the advertisement is not especially child friendly during this family oriented season, most advertisements featuring women are not either (See Victoria’s Secret). And these sexualized holiday advertisements are usually successful: Victoria’s Secret sold over 400,000 Miraculous bras during just the 2010 holiday season! (Link)
The intended audience for this advertisement, the men who need some underwear, will probably believe the ad to be funny in nature and not offensive, while their significant others might feel like the ad is inappropriate. But the ad will still be successful and the selling of the product will still be successful as well.
So, why this ad? Why is it this advertisement that has caused an uproar? Maybe people just aren’t ready to accept the comical, sexual man. Or maybe it’s just easier to stick with women.