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Stereotypes in Advertising

Updated on May 21, 2013
Intel advertisement
Intel advertisement

This hub is about stereotyping. It explains what kind of stereotyping was done in advertisements of different eras such as 1990s,1945,1980s and at present.

The eras of 1900s and 1945s depict women as home makers with most preferring to stay at home and looking after their families.The 1980s show women taking up jobs. Also people have been heavily involved in sporting activities.At present woman are stereotyped in advertisements as completely free to do anything of their choice.

What is stereotyping??

Stereotyping is categorizing an individual as a part of the group and inferring that an individual will have the qualities and personality possessed generally by all the group members. (Kenrick, Neuberg and Cialdini,2005).

Putting it in simple words it is the generalization which people give based on traits, physical or mental capabilities, differences etc.For instance women are bad at quantitative subjects.Intel advertisement above stereotypes blacks as slaves and that whites are rulers.

Stereotyping in 1900s

The Gold Dust ad appeared in the November, 1893 issue of Ladies' Home Journal magazine.The ad stereotypes women as homemakers.

This particular ad shows a woman cleaning the house and rendering her services for her family 14 hours a day.In that era women were solely responsible for looking after the husband, children and the house. They had to give full time to the household activities such as cleaning and cooking.

The Gold Dust was marketed as a washing powder that would save woman some time and energy since they had to devout their entire time looking after the house.

Stereotyping in 1945

This ad of Westinghouse Laundromat appeared in March 1945 Good Housekeeping.After around 45 years also women were stereotyped as homemakers performing the same duties as in 1900s.

This ad stereotypes women as wanting babies and nurturing them.The ad makes use of stereotypes in a good manner by linking the brand Westinghouse Laundromats to the clean clothes for the baby and the rest of the household.In those times women were thought as wanting children and found satisfaction in attaining motherhood. Thus the content depicts what women were actually doing at that time.

Stereotyping in 1980s

Akeem Olajuwon Basketball LA Gear Shoe Ad appeared in a magazine in 1989.It reinforces the stereotyping of blacks as good sportsmen.It uses the stereotyping effectively to market its footwear which has been designed for people to excel in sports.

There are various players who are black and have earned a respectable position in the world of sports like Tiger Woods and the tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams.Since blacks are commonly stereotyped as good athletes and have physical strength to get involved in sports, this ad makes use of it to portray its brand of footwear. The ad makes one think that if u want to excel in sports and become professional, you need to have LA gear which will give you extra confidence and comfort to cross over the line.

Stereotyping at present

The hot actress Halle Berry is being used successfully to impart an image of sensuality to the target consumers which then makes use of the stereotyping of Hollywood actresses for their beauty and slim bodies.Women want to look and smell best which is clearly evident from the rising number of perfumes brands available and the surge of the cosmetic industry in general.

The advertisement stereotypes women as sensual and sex objects, the way Halle is photographed on the beach denotes women as always wanting fun and shows of her perfect body which has been stereotyped that women should all have slim and perfect bodies with perfect skin which is which is what women have been after.Ad fits well with the times where women want to look and smell as best as possible and are looked upon by men as objects of desire.


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      william.murphy 5 years ago

      These are some stereotypes but there are more, In my opinion, stereotypes are bad but for their time (I.E 1900-1940) they were not stereotypes, women were actually all (Usually) Homemakers/maids/stay at home wife/parent.

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      peach 5 years ago

      stereotypes bad:(

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      salina 5 years ago

      I like how dat girl looks

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      black stone 6 years ago

      this website has helped me with my school assingment. thank-you whoever made this web-site.

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      yongyc 6 years ago

      Stereotype happen everywhere in the world, from Southeast Asia to USA and Europe. Not only advertisement that we see are sometime stereotype, but also in places where we worked. The ad that above are clearly stereotype ad especially when the ad categorize women as full time house wives and taking care of husbands and children.

      However, I am not fully agreed with the author mention the ad having Akeem Olajuwon is stereotype. The author mentions those ads are stereotype when having African American athletes in the ads because they are stronger and physically better than others. Sportswear used the best athletes star as their spokesperson or as an icon to attract more consumers. Because Tiger Woods is good in golf, therefore golf equipment has him as an icon to attract golf players. Speedo has Michael Phelps in their ads to attract more consumers and Speedo ads do not has African American. Therefore, it is not stereotype; company used super stars to attract more consumers.

    • joniah2884 profile image

      joniah2884 6 years ago from Cagayan de Oro City

      interesting. is it considered stereotyping when you use beggars and street children in the ads? Would it have the effect of wanting to be poor?

    • enjoyabel profile image

      enjoyabel 6 years ago from Atlantic City, NJ

      First of all, the older articles about the women as housekeepers, those are stereotypes. Even the Intel ad, which I've seen before and am still appalled by, is clearly stereotypical and racist, showing that black people should bow down to white people, which is ridiculous, especially in this day and age. However, The L.A. Gear ad is featuring one particular black athlete, Akeem Olajuwon. It's not a stereotype, because Akeem was a real athlete, who was famous not for being black, but for being an athlete. The copy does not say or imply anything racist or stereotypical, simply that Akeem himself is "unstoppable." Although there is a certain stigma in Hollywood that in order to be beautiful, actresses should be skinny, it is not a stereotype that applies to all women. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. But I would say that it is a pressure put on women by society and sexy ads like this one.

    • cheek0o profile image

      cheek0o 6 years ago from UAE

      sabrani 44,KrystalD and Lee Jamie

      thanku all for commenting

      our thoughts and actions everything is soo much influenced by media that it is indeed difficult to make out what is real.

    • Lee Jamie profile image

      Lee Jamie 6 years ago from Penang, Malaysia

      I agree with you

    • KrystalD profile image

      KrystalD 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      I could not agree more! Propaganda is alive and well and unfortunately, much of it influences the way certain groups of people are perceived.

    • sabrani44 profile image

      sabrani44 6 years ago

      Good hub. These days, they media warps our image of reality so much, its hard to tell the difference between reality and imagination.