Hollywood and media has a profound influence in our lives. It’s not the direct ads that are the sales pitch. It’s the movies, the sitcom’s the stuff that entertains us. It comes sugar coated so subtle that it’s hard to believe sometimes that its there but it is indeed masterful. Marketing has the ability to create a problem and supply the solution.
Client comes to a marketing company and says, “We have loads of medical supplies. Masks, PPE, sanitiser, what can you do to get them selling like hot cakes?”
First we need to create a need in the market. We will start circulating PR news about a pandemic that is taking the world by storm. Create the fear that without these items they will surely die or lose family. We will create the mantra/slogan, stay safe, sanitise and social distance. Creating the fear and sending the message in the market place so people will start buying it. We have to keep repeating it because that’s how people begin to believe stuff. Does that sound familiar?
Training us how to think, what to believe and what we need so that we can buy into a product or a person or follow a movement. John B Watson the founder of Behaviourism said in 1920 that humans are predictable and therefore controllable and that given any kind of baby he can get the baby to do whatever you want.
The advertising industry spends around $5 Billion a year to figure out how to get you to think about products they are selling. Between 1922 and 1929’s the Rockefeller’s spend a whopping $50 million in the pursuit of social sciences and Eugenics to figure out how to control humans to get people to do their bidding.
The famous Malboro ad we are all so familiar with. Malboro cigarettes was first marketed to women, I never knew this. In my mind what I’ve seen on billboards and on television in movies Malboro was a man cigarette. When sales dropped, the ad agency was tasked to turn things around and that’s when it was decided to target Malboro as a man’s cigarette. The advertising industry knows exactly how to play on your emotions to help you buy a product they are trying to sell.
There is an attitude in marketing that sex sells and women primarily are used in ads to sell products. Women are constantly objectified in advertising and treated as submissive sex objects. And you ask why we have such a rape culture? As a young girl not knowing any different working for a well respected liquor company, I was often told to wear my bikini top and shorts or wear as little as possible to promote some liquor brand. I needed the money and not once did I realise what I was selling and that ultimately I’m giving men permission to objectify me. A part of me loved it as it made me feel good to be so “desired” but wanted for what?
The sad truth is we’ve become so oblivious to its existence that it’s now considered normalised behaviour. Both men and woman are oblivious to the damage it is causing to relationships between men and women. Let’s take Donald Trump for example who is well known for his locker room talk and for forcing himself on women. The question is, can you blame him? If you look at marketing, media and Hollywood this is exactly what they are and have always been selling. Go to fast car shows, and you see the women parade with as little as possible they are there purely to be objectified by men. There is a constant underlying message:
For men: Grab women by their pussy, it doesn’t matter, they like it. If you look at a lot of the ads targeted at men, how often do you see women falling over the main character? Snoop Dog comes to mind. Selling the message that to be THE man you must have women falling at you feet. How often do you see how men force themselves on women, not taking no for an answer and then the woman in the ad/movie gives in. Like we love and welcome this sort of behaviour. The damsel in distress in need of saving.
For women: How you look matters, you must be this sexy beautiful beast that men can’t resist. The perceived message, when men grab you, flirt and whistle at you or say things like “Hey girl you look fine…”, it’s a good thing, go with it.
The other day a male friend of mine posted an image which he found funny, whilst I found it to be offensive because of what it represents. What people fail to understand is that it may seem like a joke to you but it may not be a joke to the person on the receiving end. Most women pretend when men make joke and fun about a women’s body parts but deep down its not funny. Its often embarrassing and shameful. I’ve also seen women try and engage and be just as crass and perverse as their male counterparts all in the hopes of being treated equally and to be noticed. Women who speak up are often ridiculed and made fun of and told we are too serious, it’s only a joke. This results in women being quiet and putting up with the humiliation it brings.
If you understand the world from a science perspective the damage of these jokes can be life altering. As a man you don’t know how humiliating it is to be spoken of and treated like a sex object so don’t brush women off as being serious when they openly communicate their offence. As a man you don’t like it when other men call your mother a whore or to suck your …. why on earth would we enjoy the way you speak about us in the locker room, on television or anywhere else for that matter?
This clip demonstrates how women are exploited in advertising to sell products and then you wonder why there is a rape culture? We need to stop entertaining and buying into this form of media. Advertisers know that sex sells and so they leverage this to increase sales. We need to stop supporting companies that objectify women. We need to create awareness in our communities and start voicing that what is said or done is inappropriate. We need to be vigilant about the things we watch on TV and the conversations we participate in. We are never going to change a rape culture if we do not change the mindset of how people are trained to think. Especially when it comes to Hollywood and media.