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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Advertising and You!

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Author Topic: Advertising and You!
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Believe it or not, there's a long, involved history behind the adds you see for your period-products: tampons, pads, even pills. The messages they're trying to get across to you (other than, "buy this product!") have been pretty consistent for the last century or so with their messages and how those messages affect the target audience.

With that in mind, what sort of things do you see in advertisements? Not just for menstrual products, but for things for safer sex, as well. I'm talking about Always, Tampax, Trojan, Ortho TriCyclene (Lo), Yasmin, Valtrex, etc. What messages come across to you? If you're the intended target audience, how to the messages relate to you? Do you like the commercials and paper ads, or do you dislike them? Why?

Let's talk about em!

Caylin, Scarleteen Volunteer
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Posts: 2789 | From: The Evergreen State | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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One of the Ortho birth control pills has a dancing-flower-ballerina commercial that really annoys me. I'm not sure why, maybe because it's the epitome of "femininity" idolized in the mascot of a product made of artificial hormones, while they go on about it clearing your skin?

Almost all pill commercials annoy me, come to figure. Seasonique is especially really pushing it with the seemingly-thousands of ads with a woman arguing with her more "sensible" side in the mirror over whether or not a period is necessary, ending with the "sensible" one dragging out a woman wearing a labcoat who says there's no medical reason to menstruate.

I hear other brands are advertising to help with PMS/PMDD too, when not only are there very few genuinely severe cases that don't require psych-meds, it goes along with the original birth control pill advertising geared towards men that the pill would "keep her moods even".

So, I suppose what bothers me most, on the whole, with female products and sexual health advertising is the omitting of information that would make a woman aware she has other choices than to use the product, especially when conditions such as acne and genuine PMDD have several other, more effective treatments, and menstrual suppression has NOT been proven safe.

[ 09-03-2007, 06:53 PM: Message edited by: *Lauren* ]

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Scarleteen Volunteer
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Originally posted by *Lauren*:
One of the Ortho birth control pills has a dancing-flower-ballerina commercial that really annoys me. I'm not sure why, maybe because it's the epitome of "femininity" idolized in the mascot of a product made of artificial hormones, while they go on about it clearing your skin?

This annoyed me too. As a former dancer, I am annoyed at anything that suggests it's all prettiness and light. It's not, you can work your butt off, be all sweaty and empowered.

I don't watch a lot of TV (sans sesame street) but lately I've been noticing product placement in movies. Like, because this hot looking character is using that brand it must be the cool thing to do, I better go get me some right now.

Same with commercials featuring celebrities. As if we should be sheep to the famous people who use Proactive.

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Not exactly an advertisement for a product, but it's a set of safer sex commercials I LOVE:

Alright, the corporation as a whole I really dislike - their programming is shallow, often times perpetuates stereotypes, etc., but MTV (that's right, you guessed it) still speaks to a large population of young adults, and for all else they air, I love the way they support and encourage safer sex. They have always had fabulous, well-marketed, well-written ads about STI screenings, and recently they've had some great ones about condom use, including my favorite:

A girl is in a guy's dorm room (who, you assume, has just tried to convince her to sleep with him without a condom), and she asks him if a thin, well lubricated piece of latex would have really felt worse than them having sex and being together in the morning, etc.; I just thought it was a really cute way of not only pointing out that safer sex is a good idea, but that this is a smart, sensible young woman who is in charge of her sexuality and knows what is best for her health.

They also have a couple other ones I really like.

To toss in a couple other good-notes:

I like the HIV ads, about spreading knowledge (especially the ones with the balloons).

And, since you mentioned Valtrex - I do like how they depict couples (albeit all heterosexual couples) in the ads; I think there's still a lot of stigma around genital herpes, and about establishing a relationship after one is diagnosed with genital herpes, so I like that they show that a number of couples do live happy, healthy sexually active lives after being diagnosed.

aka dailicious
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Posts: 3382 | From: Denver, Colorado | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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