Advertising objectifies women? No shit, I hear you say. But I do like the way this website shows the progression in these Reebok ads, from at least at first showing the women as an individual, to purely and simply focusing on body parts and “making 76% women jealous”. It reminds me of the Bill Hicks bit on marketing:
I’ll probably end up doing a lot of marketing in my career and have done previously, but if all I’m doing is making up reasons to buy stuff, making people feel as if they need some product to make them be as great as the next person, then I think I’ll take Bill’s advice.
But marketing can be more than that - it’s the process of giving customers what they really want and need (sometimes they don’t know it yet e.g. when chewing gum went from being a sweet to being a breath freshener and teeth protector). Good marketing is not just about the seller to buyer dynamic, it’s the other way round too. Marketers: listen and understand your customer, think about what they need, don’t try and create needs from nowhere, then you won’t have to take Bill’s advice.