I just saw a 45-second commercial for Ortho Tri-Cyclen. It portrays four couples in various beautiful backdrops, and while it talks about "so you can get pregnant when you want to," superimposed on the screen are these descriptions: "John and Jane, married 2 years," "George and Georgina, married last night," "Phoebe and Orlando, still honeymooning." Of course I forgot the names, but the idea is the same: young, married couples. This was on at 9pm, just before ABC's "20/20."
On the other hand, every night around 12:15am or so, during ABC's "Politically Incorrect," I've seen the same Trojan commercial. You don't see any people, but you see an empty rowboat and hear people thrashing around in it. There's some nonsensical talk about "having the right paddle" and then the logo for Trojan comes on the screen. Pregnancy and STD aren't mentioned anywhere in the 15-second spot.
What do you think about this? There's a lot here. There's the whole gender-alignment of the ads, first of all -
But what really made me think about everything was the idea that Ortho Tri-Cyclen is being VERY careful to not promote premarital sex although most of their customers are probably young, unmarried women. This irritates me, but I guess I understand their reasons.
This is so distressing. Subconsciously, it makes those who are having premarital sex feel as though they're somehow out of the loop -- that everyone else is waiting until they're married, so I must be a [insert deragitory term for sexually active teenager here] because I can't control myself.
I think it's very hypocriticial of makers of Ortho Tri-Cyclen to market an advertising campaign in a way that it displays only those people whom are married as users of their product, all the while they're raking in profits from teenagers who are users as well.
Birth-control has issues in the media as well as in society (Slightly off-topic, but I just recently had an interesting conversation/argument with a friend about how/how not birth-control interferes with "God's plan"), and I suppose this is just one way that the makers of Ortho Tri-Cyclen try to keep on the "good" side of conservative fundamentalists.
And, as a side note, I have to say that those Trojan condom comericals are just... ridiclous. I'm not sure how to explain it, but they seem so juvinile to me to actually make the idea that the use of a condom isn't a luxury but a requirement -- particularly the one I caught a while back where a woman is talking about enjoying "Old Faithful's eruption." The comercials just seem useless.
Marketing of condoms and other contraceptive methods just is not up to par. It's often hypocritical and sometimes immmature. Why can't we just be serious about safe sex?
Because people are more likely to pay attention if it's a joke then if it's serious.
It's like at an audition. NEVER look the evaluators straight in the eye. Why not? Because they'll become uncomfortable and look away. Same goes for really serious ads and stuff. Yeah, being serious has the impact of "oh &^%*, man" but people are apt to shove it out of their minds, cause it's an unpleasant thought and it'll never happen to them.
I can honestly say i have not seen too many condom commercials here. The few i have seen are w/ cartoon sperm and eggs and then some blurb about why [this type of condom, Durex, i think] is good or something.
I've seen a few birth control commercials, mainly for Alesse, and the women on the commercials seem to be pretty young. Not like pre teen young, but like 16-18years old. They seem pretty stupid, not saying that these pills protect against pregnancy but not STD's ... But that's w/ most birth control commercials, isn't it?
I can't say i've seen a really serious safe sex positive commercial either. The only "serious" commercials about sex at all, on TV, seem to be those w/ the "Not me, Not now" slogans ... and those just get me mad beyond words, so we won't go there tonite
People just don't want to be serious. It's not a serious issue to most people until they're pregnant or have caught something ... And it's sad.
You know, I laugh everytime I see that Trojan Extended Pleasure condom commercial. That is absolutely the most absurd thing I have ever seen.
I find the Trojan commercials particularly interesting because neither of the individuals involved are the ones initiating the safer sex practice. It has to come from a totally seperate outside party. I wonder what message that sends about the need to protect oneself. Neither individual seems particularly worried about using protection, and only when the "Trojan Man" arrives does safer sex actually occur to them. It gives me the impression that the need to protect yourself and your partner is not something inherent in a sexual relationship, but rather it is a convention imposed by the rest of the world. Also, the fact that the introduction of the condom completely stops the action just reinforces that whole "stopping for a condom breaks the mood" paradigm.
There was quite a funny but also profound advert for condoms that was made in Germany. It was a little moving and singing soft toy (a monkey or something I forget) and it just went through an infinite loop of talking like a stuck record in pseado rap style going something like:
"Im bored! Come on mommy play with me play with me all day! Im bored! Come on daddy play with me play with me all day!"
Ok so it did not mention STDs but it does get the pregnancy message across well. One of the reasons that it worked quite well was the soft toy looked very sweet and when you first hear it speak its very funny, but after hearing ot for 30 seconds its so annoying you can hardly stand it! Thus it demonstrates that children are a constant and long term strain on parents. I wonder how many unwanted pregnancies that ad managed to stop.
Actually, I think it may have been a government ad so perhaps its only brand marketing that is so useless at getting the real message across. I dont imagine the US government creating a particularly strong message on birth control or STD prevention.
------------------ 'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky
Now that I begin to think about it a little more in depth, I realize that the fact that these comericals do not mention STDs is part of the problem. So many of my friends aren't concerned with an STD, mainly because of the fact that -- and most of us accept this as being true -- health education programs are a bit lax.
Just yesterday, I was talking to my dear friend and she told me that they don't use condoms because "He doesn't like them and I can't get off." So, they depend on the good old withdrawl method (it shouldn't even be refered to as a method). The big issue is, though, that the thought of contracting an STD hasn't crossed her mind -- pregnancy has, but STDs just aren't an issue for her.
Our society tends to push STDs to the back burner, mainly because of the Puritianical morals that we're talking about now. I guess my main complaint with all of this is that, no, society as a whole doesn't like to address the idea of STDs, so the very makers of contraceptive devices should, but refuse to so that they can keep on the good side of the conservative right.
Or it could just be a decision to keep their brands as far away from STDs as possible simply so that they are not associated with a subject which is considered disgusting by a large amount of their target audience. You cannot rely on companies to change the culture, the government must do that. Still... thats capitalism after all.
Posts: 711 | From: England | Registered: Nov 2000
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