Thursday, May 22, 2008

Writing and Visual Imagination: Images and the Media

We've looked at examples of imagery in the media. Using the information from your analysis forms, respond to the following:

1. How might you characterize images of women in modern media? Do you think these images, as a whole, objectify or empower women and girls? Use specific images to defend your position.

2. How might you characterize images of men in modern media? Whom do you think these images are intended to target? Use specific images to defend your position.

3. What products are typically pitched through images of humans? Give some examples.

4. Overall, how does this analysis of commercials strengthen or alter your assimilation of commercials targeted towards you? Does the practice of studying fine art offer any correlation to the study of these images? Why or why not?

11 comments:

Sara. said...

1. When looking at the pictures in a magazine, something I always notice is that the women always have more than four of these qualities: tilted face, blown out luxurious hair, full lips that are usually slightly parted, sultry eyes, long necks, usually on the thin side, and well defined cheekbones/facial structure. I think that these pictures can both empower and objectify women because while they are in a way setting a standard form for women it still shows us certain ways to make ourselves look better.
2. Men in the media most of the time have these qualities: tall, muscularly built yet still thin-ish, well defined face (jaw line, cheekbones, and forehead) tousled laid back hair, and an easy pose. These images are targeted towards young men and to set the ideal for men to women, and although not all women just like the men that are seen in magazines it still shows the ‘fantasy man’.
3. Products usually for the body and face are paired with human commercialization. I noticed that a lot of the ads were either makeup, clothing, or diet/exercise related. In the ads that had to do with food, business, and things like that, the people looked more real as in they looked like you would see them around in reality.
4. This analysis doesn’t change my view of ads at all. I regard them as just things to help sell a product and they just happen to have good looking people in them. Although there are people who make a point to emulate these images down to the very last detail, I find it a waste of time and money to make these ads, actually. I do think that studying fine art can help with studying these images but I think what the most important thing is how it deals with the brain and appeasement. Obviously in order to make a good looking ad you have to be able to pull together different things, look good, and still get the point across at the same time.

Taylor M. said...

1. I would characterize women in modern media as being a tool to help show off the product. I would say that they are presented as being the ideal of beautiful and portray an image of sex. More often then not, women are objectified in the media because they are meant to sell the product and their beauty is harnessed in order to attract the customer to the ad. For example, the woman in the Nautica ad was at the beach leaning on her surf board, she was being used to draw your eye to the clothing that she was wearing because she was a beautiful woman. Also, in the Guess ad the woman was modeling a watch but only had her bra on; both men in our group looked straight at her chest, she was being objectified by Guess to sell watches.

2. Men in modern media are also being used as sex icons; men look confident, strong, and wealthy. The images of men are intended to attract woman who want their man to be better than he is, and men who want to attract better women. For example, on the cover of the magazine, Chad Michael Murray was posing with a tee-shirt, jeans, suit jacket, and fancy watch. He looked rebellious, confident, and sophisticated. The image portrayed an idea of strength that is present in most of the pictures of men in the media.

3. Clothing is obviously pitched through images of humans, like in the Rocawear ad there was a party and all the people looked sophisticated and happy so if you were to buy that line of clothing, you would live that lifestyle. Also, shampoo is often pitched through the use of humans; a woman with beautiful, shiny hair is shown smiling like she could not enjoy her life anymore than when she is washing her hair.

4. The analysis of commercials alters my assimilation but not greatly; obviously I do not want to be duped by companies and buy their products based solely on their ads but it does not hinder the fact that I am more attracted to ads and commercials with attractive people in them. Commercial advertising is completely an exaggeration of the truth or of the affect of the product being sold; however, the images that target me are just nice to look at, they do not necessarily sell the product to me. I believe that the studying of fine art can offer correlation to the study of images because you can pick up on symbolism, lighting, composition, which all lead to the interpretation of the commercials.

Dom S said...

1. The images of women in modern media vary. Some ads objectify women and are very suggestive. Other ads focus on innocence. Both usually use sex-appeal to sell their product. They are usually selling products to women and show beautiful sexy women so that other girls see them and believe that of they purchase this product that they too will look like that.

2. Many images of men in media portray big, rugged, tough guys. These men are usually unkempt and rock either a shaggy beard and/or a mop of hair. This attracts men to the product because they think that if they buy that brand of razor or cologne that they'll look strong and burly like the men in the ads. A lot of other advertisements use models with a pseudo-goth/ punk look. This rock star image attracts men to the product because they think they will look cool and rebellious if they purchase the product.

3. Make-up, perfume, facial hygiene products (male and female), and clothes generally use images of humans. Car advertisements generally don't use humans to pitch the product and if they do the focus is usually on the car and not on the human model. One thing that surprised me while doing my research is that most of the tooth paste advertisements I found didn't use humans to pitch the product. They usually just showed the tooth paste tube, a corporate logo, and a slogan. This came as a surprise because one would think that they'd use human models with bleach white teeth so that consumers believe that the brand of toothpaste is the best or a collection of mouth photos that show the teeth getting cleaner and whiter as time passes.

4. The analysis of commercials hasn't really altered my view of these advertisements. I'm pretty sure that most people know of the different marketing techniques (sex-appeal, bandwagon, etc.) and being aware of these techniques doesn't really change the effect the commercials have on people. If there's a correlation between advertising and fine art I don't really see it. Advertisements are used soley to convince consumers to buy their product whereas fine art is used to envoke emotion.

kayla said...

1. I believe most women in the modern media are objectified. Most of the images I saw seemed to focus on the women’s body more than the actual product itself. For example the Venus ad was a woman looking out at the ocean, you did not see her face and the sun was at the point where it made you look right at her. There was another picture were a women was modeling a watch the only thing is most people looking at the picture would not see the watch, because she was busty. Chris and Matt both looked down automatically, then right back up. The fact the boys look for that without even realizing it makes me believe that women in the media are objectified.

2. Men in the media are a little bit more complicated than women because they are not always used in an objectified manner. With men I think it just really counts on where the ad is. In women’s magazines men probably are a little objectified; for example in one of the YM magazines Chad Michael Murray was on the cover and the focus of it was to get girls to see how cute he was. This worked because the girls in the group were trying to defend him when the boys said he looked uncomfortable. In the Rolling Stones magazine we looked at an ad for a comedian and this one was more empowering than objectified because all the focus was on him and how his work was than just his actual self.

3. The articles we looked at had many different products selling. One as I mentioned earlier was selling razors for women and another watch. Another one was selling perfume which is funny because looking at the picture for the ad you would never guess it was for perfume. Another ad was for a T.V. show, Last Comic standing.

4. It’s hard to say if I can compare these images to works of fine art because in my mind that does not work. But on the other hand one could argue that if it wasn’t for fine art images like these would not exist. This question is like the debate we had at the beginning of the year when you asked if Pollock and Hurst’s art was real art. You can not say because it means different things to different people.

Anonymous said...

Nicole Nelson

1.I believe that the media portrays women as objects and if you aren’t a size two then you aren’t “good enough”. All of the images that I viewed depicted women as perfect. They have flawless skin and hair, and there is not one ounce of extra body fat on their bodies. I bet individualism is not on the advertising executive’s agenda. If a woman doesn’t look like the ideal woman, then it is very doubtful she will be featured in an ad. Average women see these unblemished women and are expected to be just like them. There was a tanning ad in one of the magazines and the woman had long flowing hair and flawless skin, not to mention a perfect body. In their minds, the average, also very beautiful women, they believe they aren’t good enough. Regardless of what anyone else believes; I believe it is because of the media’s influence that women try so hard to lose weight, get highlights, or plastic surgery. Another ad for Guess clothing also had flawless skin as well as a flawless body. The women in modern media are fake. Real everyday women do not have a 600 dollar haircut and their own makeup artist, but that doesn’t make them any less attractive.

2.Men in modern media are the same as the women. Six packs and bulging biceps are the only thing you see. You never see a little gut or receding hair line. The advertisement companies make sure that, unless a man with a receding hair line will cell their product better, a man with one will not be in their ad. I think the “gorgeous” men, as well as the women, are just there to sell products. Sex sells, go with what works. The perfect bodies of men are simply used to get the product to sell, beer guts won’t do that. Just like the gorgeous women are used to target women as well as men, the men ads are used to target both men and women. The opposite sex wants to be with them and the same sex wants to be them. Like the Usher ad, the seductive setting helps sell his product. Or the other cologne ad, once again a perfect body helps sell.

3.Things to wear are usually what are pitched using humans. Purses, clothing, cologne. Anything that can be given a seductive twist (which is pretty much anything now in today’s society) can be sold using a male or female. Fashion is a huge industry and beautiful (extremely thin) models are used to sell clothes and accessories. Fragrances and colognes, as well as other makeup products or products for personal hygiene are sold using people. Anything to enhance, such as makeup, especially, women are used to sell it.

4.People are bombarded with advertisements every day. There is no way to escape them. Now more than ever, the media is very dominant in everyone’s lives, whether it is through the TV or internet. I am aware of the little niches the companies throw in their ads to get you to buy them. The way a man or woman looks in an ad does not make me want to buy their product any more or any less. I buy what I want because I want it. If anything the analyzing of the commercials helps me alter how I feel I am targeted. Taking the time to actually sit down and look at the ads (which I usually skip through anyway) makes you open your eyes to them. I believe that studying of art did not really help me in the viewing of the images in Teen Vogue. Fine art is beautiful and meaningful. Today’s ads and media cannot even compare. Nothing in a fine painting should compare to the sex filled pages of the magazines we looked through. If anything the studying of fine art helped me realize how ridiculous the advertisements can be. And sadly enough they are effective because of the men and women that are in them.

Jess Musseau said...

1. Many women in modern media are characterized as sexy, and suggestive. Most anything you in the media now days have to do with sex because it is appeals to all. I think most images objectify women because most of the women are naked and sometimes women will be thrown in an ad and the girl has nothing to do with the product. For example, men razor blades, women are put in these ads so that men get the idea if they use this razor women will want to be with them. In the end, in all ad girls want to be like the women and guys want to get with the woman in the ad.

2. The men are more portrayed in the media as tuff, rugged, athletic, and handsome. I think the images of men in ads are intended to target both side’s men and women. Just like the women, the same idea but guys want to be like the men and girls want to get with the men in the ads. An ad that exemplifies this would be the got milk ad with all different celebrities, like Andy Rodrick. In the ad Andy looks all tuff and ripped with milk mustache. The men all idolize him because he is an athlete and girls want to be with him because he is Andy Rodrick.

3. Some products that are pitched through humans are basically anything. Some examples are razors, watches, designer clothes, food products, hair products, and electronics.

4. This whole analysis of commercial really strengthens my perception of commercials and the modern media. I know realize that these commercials and ads are all around and you can really never bet away from them. Some images in the media also have a deeper meaning, like one ad had a women in a very sexual position on a horse, and when you look deeper the horse represents a mans strength. All of these images are targeted to the younger people because they are easier subject to target and they will buy anything. Most of the modern images objectify both women and men. I really don’t think that there is any correlation between fine art and modern images because in the fine art women are more empowered in paintings were in modern images women are more portrayed in a sexual manor.

Nicole W. said...

Nicole Wyllie

1. How might you characterize images of women in modern media? Do you think these images, as a whole, objectify or empower women and girls? Use specific images to defend your position.
Images of women in modern media are for the most part, somewhat risqué. The women who advertise products are usually very good looking models that have a look to draw in your attention through their eyes and body language, as well as skimpy clothing usually accentuating body parts and allowing mainly stomach and legs to show. I believe these images objectify women by using their bodies as advertisements for products that are completely irrelevant to having a half-dressed woman in them. For example, an ad for Secret Deodorant has a picture of a woman in leather clothing standing in front of a street bike. This image is completely irrelevant to the product and is simply using an attractive face and body to attempt and sell it.
2. How might you characterize images of men in modern media? Whom do you think these images are intended to target? Use specific images to defend your position.
Men in modern media are mostly depicted like women, using attractive faces and toned, muscular bodies to sell products or other things. Images like these, showing men with spiked or long perfect hair, dreamy eyes, and a muscular body without a shirt are intended to target young women who find them very attractive, or young, vulnerable men who want to look and be like them. An example would be an ad for hair dye, depicting a young man with chin length choppy blonde hair, laughing and wearing a tight fitting tank top. His face and features are what draws in the viewer in this case.
3. What products are typically pitched through images of humans? Give some examples.
Ads for all types of clothing, hair products, makeup, lotions/sunscreens/oils, fragrances, cars, body products, and accessories usually use humans as part of the advertisement. Examples I personally found in magazines were women for Guess Shoes, Maybelline makeup, Herbal Essences shampoo, Cadillac, Secret deodorant, and Clinique fragrance.
4. Overall, how does this analysis of commercials strengthen or alter your assimilation of commercials targeted towards you? Does the practice of studying fine art offer any correlation to the study of these images? Why or why not?
The analysis did somewhat alter my thoughts on commercials, because I didn’t realize before just how many advertisements use people’s bodies to sell products. Personally, I find fine art much more interesting and tasteful. Correlations between the two are they both try to draw the viewer in, only fine art does this by using color, variety, and the rest of the art elements instead of simply attractive bodies.

Jess L. said...

1. I would characterize a lot of the women in the magazines as the following: bronze, flawless, feminine, skinny, makeup, plump/glossy lips, advertising, scandalous, not standing straight, tilted/turned heads, perfect eyebrows, professional hair, young, special lighting, accessories, models, confident, posed, and objectified. I believe these women objectify women because even when just modeling for a face makeup, such as a Man’s cologne, revealing clothes are worn and the person is used just to attract a man towards it. Also a women being in that kind of ad is not necessary and is only used as an object.
2. Men in modern media were often characterized as the following: masculine, partially unclothed, famous, tall, confident, rich, with beautiful women. I think these are to attract women and also men who want to be like the men pictured. Images like this include one for Kohler clothing where a man is showering clothed with a women who is wearing a revealing outfit, and an Armani Code cologne commercial where a man is with a women who is about to kiss his neck.
3. Products with images with humans include any clothing or makeup products such as Rocawear and Maybelline where they are using the product to attract people to buy it.
4. The analysis did not change view of commercials because I still see advertisements as using sex appeal and pretty men and women to sell their product.

Meg! said...

1. I would characterize most of the images of women in the media as bronze, flawless, feminine, skinny, serious, having plump lips, professionally done hair and makeup, perfect eyebrows, and most are young in age. I think that the women in media can both empower and objectify women and girls. Some of the more scandalous shoots can objectify women and their body while more conservative ones give women tips on how to make themselves beautiful and presentable. However both types of advertising make the item or product more appealing to the customers.
2. I would characterize most of the images of men in the media as muscular, tan, shirtless, scruffy, long haired, shiny, and attractive. I think that these images are targeted to both males and females. These images catch female’s attentions because they are attracted to the male in the image. They also attract male’s attention because the images make men want to look like they do.
3. Products that are typically pitched through images of humans are clothing, hair products, makeup products, and different types of perfumes. Also products like food, business, electronics and other forms of entertainment are typically pitched through images of humans.
4. This analysis does not alter or change my views of ads. All the ads just use different techniques and approaches to attract many customers, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Most of the times the ads don’t attract me so I don’t really notice them that much therefore my views were not altered or changed.

k-rods said...

1)I would characterize women in the media as beautiful, delicate, yet fierce. Most pictures in the media of women seem to empower the female race. Most advertisements look to appeal to the likes of women, and all the images were in magazines for teenage girls. For example the image of the African American woman in the Secret deodorant advertisement. The woman was powerful, beautiful, and she embodied the very essence of a pure woman.
2)Images of men can be characterized as powerful, sexy, and seductive. I think most of the images are intended to target young audiences, girl and boy alike. The toned, rough, muscular bodies are intended to target the girls, get them intrigued in the idea of their man being as…manly. To the men, they want to look as good as these men in the magazines. For example, the Giorgio Armani advertisement.
3)Products that are typically pitched through images of humans would be clothing, shampoo (Herbal Essences). Make up and hair products too.
4)I don’t think that the study of fine art can be compared to advertisements. I believe fine art takes talent, and these advertisements only take photo shop, and a pretty face. To be honest I don’t really understand the first part of the question, so I refuse to answer it. But over all I think that studying the advertisements in magazines, just made me realize how pathetic the human race is that we must poison a teen’s head with toxic images of what “beauty” is socially acceptable in this day in age.

k-rods said...

1)I would characterize women in the media as beautiful, delicate, yet fierce. Most pictures in the media of women seem to empower the female race. Most advertisements look to appeal to the likes of women, and all the images were in magazines for teenage girls. For example the image of the African American woman in the Secret deodorant advertisement. The woman was powerful, beautiful, and she embodied the very essence of a pure woman.
2)Images of men can be characterized as powerful, sexy, and seductive. I think most of the images are intended to target young audiences, girl and boy alike. The toned, rough, muscular bodies are intended to target the girls, get them intrigued in the idea of their man being as…manly. To the men, they want to look as good as these men in the magazines. For example, the Giorgio Armani advertisement.
3)Products that are typically pitched through images of humans would be clothing, shampoo (Herbal Essences). Make up and hair products too.
4)I don’t think that the study of fine art can be compared to advertisements. I believe fine art takes talent, and these advertisements only take photo shop, and a pretty face. To be honest I don’t really understand the first part of the question, so I refuse to answer it. But over all I think that studying the advertisements in magazines, just made me realize how pathetic the human race is that we must poison a teen’s head with toxic images of what “beauty” is socially acceptable in this day in age.