Saturday, January 9, 2010

Advertisement and body image

As I mentioned last week, I am spending a lot of time at Pogo. Pogo is an advertising-supported service. This means I have been watching a lot of advertisements.

In these ads, a common product is an expectorant. If you have a cough or sinus pressure, say the ads, take this product: it will get the mucus out. To dramatize the eviction, the ads anthropomorphize the mucus. Green people who live in our lungs or sinus cavities are shown riding motorcycles, swing dancing at clubs, having family reunions, or reading bedtime stories to their children. These green people are bad, imply the ads.

All the green people are obese. All the ill people—"good people" being harmed by the green folk—are skinny models. In addition to the "you don't have to suffer sinus pressure or a lingering cough" message, these ads are sending the message "take our product and you will kill the fat person inside you." It's absurd and disturbing at the same time.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Good observation!