1. Describe two main point the writer intends to make
2. Are you confused by any aspect of the writer’s paper?
3. Does the writer define stereotypes?
4. Does the writer identify an ad?
5. Advice for the writer’s paper
Harm in Advertising Stereotypes
A stereotype is a generalised belief that many people have of a particular thing or category of people. Certain expectations may result from these beliefs, which are often very unfair and untrue. Stereotypes form from everyday observations, and take shape from person to person constantly sharing social information. The assumption that all girls play with dolls and like the colour pink is a perfect example of a stereotype; same with all boys liking the colour blue and like playing with toy trucks. They are not necessarily true, however it is a generalised belief that many people have. Unfortunately stereotypes are used in advertising, commonly gender stereotypes are used. A woman portrayed as a housewife, or being associated with beauty and fashion is an example of a gender stereotype in advertising. There are different types of stereotypes that are used in advertising; gender roles, stereotypes involving children and racial stereotypes are all examples of stereotypes that are used.
Stereotypes are usually oversimplified ideas, and can be harmful if used in advertisements. As stated by Jane Marcellus, it is unacceptable to use stereotypes in advertising, since they are troubling and are not needed to sell a product. They can limit our ability to have our own perception of the world, and are not based on facts. Stereotypes are harmful because we develop beliefs that are not necessarily true, and often reduce complex identities.
In 2012, Huggies (diaper company) released an ad trying to show that Huggies diapers could handle ‘anything’, and to prove this they came up with something called the ‘dad test’. Huggies claimed it was the toughest test possible, leaving the dads to care for the infants without the moms. The video shows the moms having their well deserved time off while the dads cared for the infants. The idea around the ad was very gender biassed, and shows a strong stereotype surrounding dads and moms. This ad is harmful because it is very insulting to dads who are the primary caregiver for their children, and in some cases the only caregiver. The ad portrays dads as incompetent towards the care of their children.