Advertisements Using Women As Objects To Sell Products

Women have always been a very important part of the society. This is so because a woman plays various roles in her life, that of a daughter, sister, mother and so on and this helps in framing of a society in which we live. That is why she has been respected from earlier times till date. But in today’s fast changing world it has been noticed that women are mostly being treated as mere pleasure objects by men.

It is said that visuals leave a greater impact on a person’s mind compared to being bombarded only by words of mouth or written text. This is in fact true as one can recall things easily that one has witnessed or seen rather than what has been read; and if the visuals are with text then it leaves all the more impact on a person as a whole. For example: Films, advertisements, magazines etc.

Today the advertising industry is one among the fastest growing industries not only in our country but across the world. Almost every company, institution and services take the help of advertisements or ads to make people aware of their products and services. Advertisements not only inform people about the new brands available in the market or about the upcoming ones but also help in creating a need for the product in the mind of the viewers. They also help in building a brand’s image and creating a niche for the same in the market.

Due to the availability of similar products from different companies in the market, the consumers get a wide variety to choose from. In this scenario every company wants to publicize its product in such a way that it can attract more and more customers to get hold of the same. Thus, they make use of advertisements to popularize their product.

Advertisements can be of various forms and sizes, depending upon the budget provided by a company/client to an ad agency. These agencies make the ads for their client keeping in mind the target audience for the product. They decide as to what kind of ad would be suitable for the product and where. For example: whether the ad should be a commercial one or a print ad and so on.

On one hand where these ads/advertisements help in the sale of products on the other hand the same ads are hampering the image of a woman. Most of the advertisements shown on television today make use of women in order to enhance/increase the sale of the products.

Women are being portrayed as mere sex objects in most of the ads. They have been shown as a weaker section of the society who can be easily get carried away by men. In ads like that of perfumes and bikes the products are compared with that of a woman’s body. For example the AXE effect (perfumes/deodorant’s) advertisement, wherein after the usage of the perfume all young girls try to jump on the man, who has applied it. Moreover, the girls/women used for the different kinds of ads are shown to be fair and exceptionally thin. This has created a negative image of women in society, and high expectations amongst families and peers.

These advertisements leave an impression on a common man’s mind that a woman is just an object, which can exploited easily as she is weak by nature and always needs a man for her protection. This type of projection of women is termed as stereotyping.

Well, not only men but even women who come in contact with such ads start feeling inferior of themselves as they are not as pretty or thin as compared to the actors or models shown in advertisements. Though there are certain guidelines provided to the ad agencies by ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) with regards to the making of advertisements, these guidelines are not kept in mind most of the times while framing an advertisement.

Now the biggest question to think about is that whether making money is more important than the dignity of a woman. Who has the answer? Do comment in the section below.

By Avanija Katiyar

(courtesy: Youth Ki Awaaz)