Art Essay Research Paper MARKETING AND THE — страница 3

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the supporters of this ad were women! Some women felt that there was something wrong with it only when specifically asked to elaborate on the image of five female backsides on billboards all over the country. Two things seem to be combined here: 1. The image of five almost naked parts of female anatomy represents something “other” (just an advertisement), different, belonging to a different reality from the one that everyday people live in. In a way, the image belongs to a different culture, and as such does not threaten the (actual or perceived) position of women. This is a culture of high paid chief executives, models, actors and actresses, “high culture” which sharply stands apart from what the ordinary people perceive to be “theirs.” 2/ The obvious fact that there

is a gender hierarchy in wider Slovenian society creates a situation (well known from numerous anthropological examples) in which the sub-dominant group identifies itself through the concepts and discourse of the dominant group (or segment of the society). In this case, women (as a sub-dominant group) perceive themselves through men’s eyes (the sexual symbolism inscribed all over the poster) and see nothing wrong with that. That is the only way in which they are able to see themselves ? and that is why criticism coming from women’s groups fell on deaf ears. On the one hand, there is a whole new reality being constructed here: the reality of men’s gaze as something “normal,” “natural,” or even “neutral.” Although this reality is there in “real life”, its

existence is not readily acknowledged, and the majority of women would not agree with this statement. But feminist scholars certainly would. How men see women becomes “the norm” both for men and for women. Another example of an advertising strategy using imagery of sexed bodies is the poster/billboard campaign in Croatia for the concert of the popular rock group Zabranjeno pusenje (translates as: No Smoking). There were two matching billboards for the concert that took place on October 17, 1997. Both featured the question Do you like smoking? and an emphatic answer I love smoking! The pun of the ad is in the fact that the word smoking (pusenje) is in Serbian and Croatian used colloquially for oral sex (felacio). Hence, the faces of four women (probably porn actresses) in

various stages of intercourse (as deduced from their facial expressions, as well as from the whole set up) on the one billboard, and the faces of four men in various expressions of (orgasmic ? again, deduced from the facial expressions and from the whole set up) bliss accompany the text that colloquially reads: Do you like blow job?, and the answer is quite clear: Yes, I love blow job! It is again easy to see how this imagery provoked outrage among women’s groups in Croatia, but the situation is more complicated because the ad also refers to an earlier, government-sponsored campaign to promote patriotism, which also featured two lines of text: Do you love Croatia?, followed by the answer: I love Croatia! This put the creators of this advertising campaign in a position from

which they could say that they were simply irreverently playing with different references (sexual as well as political), and that they (just like the popular Sarajevo-based rock group in question) should not be taken too seriously. Their critics (usually liberal, left-wing intellectuals, as well as many feminist groups) risk being accused of misunderstanding not only the art of marketing in general, but also the puns involved (one could even say “a general cultural context”) and the playfulness supposed to go along wth the whole concept. However, the question of why it is so easy to use sexually explicit imagery in advertising reaching large segments of population in this part of Europe remains. It is obvious that any attempt to criticize this strategy fails. Is the body in

the East still very well hidden behind the veils of pornographic imagery? Is voyeurism the only way in which the majority of population of the former communist countries can look at the body? Finally, is the sexed body the only thing (body) that matters? All these questions demand answers that would go on forever beyond this report, but it seems that in the system which reduced them to mere objects, many people in former communist countries are still incapable of acting or even perceiving themselves as subjects. Objectivization and passivization of the body is a clear sign of the state of mind of people who are unable to act for themselves, and who still (consciously or unconsciously) yearn for the time when someone else (i.e., the state) was there to worry and make decisions for