Gender Stereotypes in Ad Campaigns

For this assignment we were instructed to choose five different ads in order to analyze them for gender stereotyping. We were instructed to decide if each ad reflects a gender stereotype, counters a gender stereotype; and/or, fails to reflect a gender stereotype.


  1. Absolut Vodka


This ad is for Swedish brand Absolut Vodka from their In An Absolut World campaign back in 2007. They wanted to put out there that in an Absolut world things would be different not necessarily a perfect world but making it a better world by seeing it through new eyes. It’s not about vodka or even drinking any sort of alcohol it is about the idea of a new idealistic world. This ad is countering stereotypical roles because men cannot give birth or be pregnant but still a cute twist.

It shows the unhappy, frumpy, and tired pregnant man standing with his wife. The happy, skinny, and proud mom to be is having a cocktail in her nice  black business dress. While the family dog is sitting happily beside the pregnant man holding his wife’s hand. This ad definitely does the role reversal well including all the little details like the pregnant man holding his lower back and the family dog that is normally by the woman. It isn’t offensive but it is clever appealing to both men and women because both have been taught the pregnancy stories from an early age. Women particularly may find the image of a man carrying the brunt of the hardship of a pregnancy humerus or even maybe empathize with being pregnant therefore pulling them into the ad.


2. Calvin Klein Jeans


This ad is for Calvin Klein Jeans from 2010 that got them into a little trouble and was even banned in some parts of the world for glamorizing rape and violence against women.   Calvin Klein is known for their highly sexual ads that include sexuality and sexual freedom. Calvin Klein commented to the feedback and complaints releasing this statement. “We appreciate receiving feedback on the image, and take seriously any complaint about our client’s advertising. Our response to the complaint is that the models are partially unclothed however not nude. The woman in the image on the left is not struggling, not does she look distressed. There is no violence as the men are holding her. In the image on the right, which clearly follows as a narrative from the image on the left, the woman is relaxed and comfortable, clarifying for the viewer that there has been consent and no violence within the narrative and the imagery. This image is in a public space, and this billboard has been selected to target the Calvin Klein Jeans consumer, and is not actively directed towards children.” 

The ad is definitely stereotyping women in a strong sexual representation but I do not think I would say it is promoting violence and rape. I see a strong sexually independent woman partaking in consensual group sex showing wild abandon. I am not saying that it isn’t provocative but I am saying that it is stereotyping females. Appealing to men through sex and glamour as much as it is to women. The bigger audience being obviously men, it is demeaning to women but these ads do what they set out to do. Which is to create a buzz get people talking about gender roles, sexuality, violence, and how the fashion industry depicts women.



3. Lamborghini Tractors

Tractors Lamborghini

Lamborghini tractors have been a well known Italian name since the 1950’s. The company was started by Ferruccio Lamborghini  who had served with the Air Force mechanics corps and became well known for his mechanical improvisation and fixing engines.  He never actually invented anything he would copy others work and try to improve it.

This ad is stereotyping older men and women depicting a quite older gentleman with a very gorgeous woman in a leopard print dress huddled up in a barn. He is in his farm working clothes holding a pitch fork looking quite pleased. She is striking with her red lips, blonde hair, and vibrant youth standing by his side. It appeals to men who are working on the farm depicting that even though you are dirty or old that as long as you have a Lamborghini tractor young and beautiful women will flock to you. It is stereotypical by presenting the woman in a very sexual way attracted to money, status, and possessions. Then portraying the older man by showing him very happy with his younger companion that a young and gorgeous woman is what all older men desire. That as a form of status and hard work somehow will convince younger gorgeous women to be sexually attracted to older men owning a Lamborghini tractor. It is mildly cute with the older Italian man very pleased with his beautiful prize.


4. Ambi Pur Scented

Remedy for toilet Ambi Pur with the scent of perfume.

Ambi Pur is an air freshener company that is sold in many countries around the world. Their first product was launched in 1958 in Spain then the Sara Lee Corporation acquired the company in 1984. It was not until 2009 when the Sara Lee Corporation sold Ambi Pur to Proctor and Gamble whose headquarters is located in Cincinnati, Ohio.

This ad is stereotyping men and older women by showing the man shirtless and sexually appealing while depicting the older woman as cleaning doing the housework because that is something women do. It is also counter stereotypical as well due to her being attracted to much younger men. Instead of the normal spin of  older men and younger women they switched it up and had the man very attracted to the older woman and her cleaning. It is aimed towards women in particular showing them that while they are the ones doing the cleaning they can still be attractive or sensual. By showing the very attractive male model shirtless they are able to further the target reach group by appealing to women of all ages.

5. Deans Scotch Whiskey

Surprisingly mild whiskey Dean’s.

Deans Scotch Whiskey is a malt and grain whiskey distilled at the the Loch Lomond Distillery in Alexandria among the Scottish highlands. James Johnstone set up the distillery back in 1881 by the River Leith and now is shipped and sold all over the world.

This ad is counter stereotyping by showing a middle aged normal Scotch man getting his skirt blown back, a little like the famous Marilyn Monroe picture. The man is not overly attractive he has a slight belly and making a silly face. It is intended to be targeted at both audiences men and women. Women because it shows men being the sexual object and because it is an iconic pose that everyone has seen especially every man so it can be found humerus to both sexes. It is a cute play on iconic American history that is known all over the world thanks to Marilyn Monroe in 1954 during her filming of The Seven Year Itch.



I decided I wanted to add this last ad just because POWA People Opposing Women Abuse did a great job in my opinion of clever awareness advertisement for their cause. Their mission statement is “A safe and equal society intolerant of all forms of violence against women and girls in all their diversity, where they are treated with respect and dignity and their rights are promoted.”

POWA Rape Ad

The ad is a two page spread that comes with pages glued together. Which forces the reader to tear it apart.


Once they do it reads  “If you have to use force, it’s rape.”


To me it was clever use of words and message that make this to me such a great ad. It is not great that it is necessary in our culture that we need to remind people of that force is rape. They are stereotyping in this ad as well because women are not the only ones to be raped in our society or the rest of the world it is a message that every sex or gender can learn from and should respect.


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