Magazine advertisements spend millions of dollars each year in order to develop ideas to convey their message or to sell their products in today’s society. The many different views and values in society lead to various marketing ideas that capture the attention of many individuals, otherwise known as, the consumers. It is important to remember that the diverse preferences of the audience are taken into consideration when devising a marketing plan that would appeal to a wide range of people. Trojan, a company that focuses on the sale of contraceptives, spends millions of dollars each year to sell their products.
In their most current advertising campaign, Trojan is trying to sell their newest brand of condom, Evolve. For this particular campaign, the marketing individuals promoting this product decided to show the differences between men and pigs by implying that men who use Trojan are considered to be true gentlemen while men who do not are regarded as pigs. While it seems that Trojan is suggesting the message of cleanliness by the usage of their condom, nonetheless, they themselves are not “clean” because of the message that they are conveying.
The message behind the Evolve advertisement is to show the perceptions of men when they use or do not use Trojan brand condoms. The message behind this advertisement is to show that if a male uses their brand name condoms, he is considered as a “clean” and respectable individual, unlike a pig, which is usually associated with “dirtiness”. The different characters in this campaign reveal the hidden meaning that the use of Trojan brand condoms would not damage or ruin a man’s reputation of being “honorable”. The setting of the advertisement is placed at a beach, with a rather warm weather; therefore attracting people to its warmness.
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The attendance of the beach consists of six females, one male, and ten pigs. The females, who are all wearing revealing bathing suits, are each being prowled by pigs. In the foreground, a female is sitting on a folding chair reading a book entitled, No Time for Swine, whilst on her right side there is a naked pig which seems to be whispering something into her right ear. Also in the foreground, there is a female trying to get a natural tan by lying on a towel on the sand, as a naked pig is taking a photograph of her with his cellular phone.
Behind her is another female who is preparing to serve a volleyball, and at the same time being watched by two naked pigs. On the left middle ground of the advertisement is another female and a naked pig squirting sunscreen onto her back. In the background, a naked pig is pursuing after a female in the water. There are several other naked pigs floating and surfing in the water. One other pig is sitting under an umbrella and spying on the females with a pair of binoculars. The expressions on each of the irritated and disgusted faces of the females show that the male pigs are not welcomed.
Finally, in the center of the image, there is a couple, a man and a woman, holding hands and walking on the sand. Their backs are facing toward the audience. The major difference between this couple and all the others is because of the female and male relationship. Below the image are the words: “Evolve. Use the most trusted name in condoms every time. ” followed by the logo name, Trojan® Brand Condoms. With this representation of their product, what first comes to mind? Most importantly, what is the precise message that Trojan is aiming at the audience with their advertisement?
Trojan is portraying society and media in all stereotypes. As will be mentioned, Trojan is revealing the idea and image of a “perfect” body type. Their view of a perfect and beautiful person is portrayed in their advertisement as tall and skinny. Trojan portrays their consumers as only beautiful, when in fact today’s society consists of all shapes and body sizes. Trojan is promoting the idea that “sex sells”, by exploiting the women as objects of sexual behaviors, and promoting the idea of sex itself. They assume that their consumers all engage in sexual behaviors and therefore are required to purchase their product.
They also assume that once you use their product, the male will gain the trust of the female. However, numerous interpretations can be drawn from this description of their advertisement. Is Trojan aiming to promote the usage of their condom, Evolve? Or are they exploiting women by means of their representation in the advertisement? Are men really “evolved” after the usage of their product? Each of these questions can be answered with multiple analyses. First of all, the advertisement portrays men as pigs if they do not use Trojan condoms.
This can be seen by the representation of only one male versus the ten pigs in the whole of the image. The connotation of the word “pig” suggests that they are dirty, fat, lazy, perverted, and irresponsible. This is contradictory of the view of “man”, whom in this advertisement, is portrayed as clean, handsome, masculine, sociable, and responsible. Compared to the pigs, the man is welcomed and accepted by the female. The pleasant and content face of the female suggests that she is comfortable with holding hands with the male and welcomes his presence.
The other females in this campaign have a miserable facial expression because they have a “dirty”, perverted pig prowling next to them and invading their personal space. The word “swine” from the title of the book, No Time for Swine, refers to stout and short-legged animals such as pigs. The title suggests that the female is not interested in committing her time to that type of person. She is more willing to spend her time with a real man, such as the one on the cover of the book. However, it is instinctual for the viewer to compare and contrast man and pig at first glance.
What if the man in the advertisement encompasses the same intentions as the pig? Is it possible to detach the idea of a dirty sexual being to a separate and thoughtful individual? Another observation that can be made about this campaign is the manner in which the marketing individuals represent the women. The purpose of the women is to exploit them for the intention of the objectification of the product. Each female is wearing a revealing bathing suit in order to be used as an object to absorb the viewers in.
The woman who is trying to get a tan is in a position that is similar to when one is preparing for sexual intercourse which gives the image of tenderness and readiness. Also, the female seems to be pulling on the knot of her bikini bottom, which gives the impression that she is ready to take them off. The woman who is being squirted with lotion by another pig also gives the impression of a sexual act, such as ejaculation. The facial expression that is being displayed on her face tells us that what the pig is doing is considered as revolting and unwanted.
This represents a male who has discharged on a female when he did not use a condom; therefore the male is unable to protect her and is considered to be a pig instead of a man. The women epitomize the idea of safe sex. From previous observations, the women are discontent with the beings around them. The females do not trust the pigs because the pigs are not “safe”. In this case, not being safe means not using their condom. This brings in the question of the trustfulness of man and the product itself. A man who chooses to use a condom shows that he can be trusted and is believed to be responsible.
The words that appear on this advertisement: “Evolve. Use the most trusted name in condoms every time. ” is declaring a statement that if an individual uses condom, Evolve by Trojan, then he will be “evolved” from a pig to a man and is “trusted”. This infers that if you use the trusted name brand of condoms then women would be willing to entrust them with themselves. The thought that they will be safe and unharmed from any type of sexually transmitted diseases makes the woman feel protected. However, the representation of the advertisement comes into question.
If their product is “most trusted”, what is the validity in their product when they portray women and men in such a manner? As it can be seen in the advertisement, the women and man portrayed here are all considered to be beautiful, according to today’s standards. All of the females and male have approximately the same body shape and type, tall and skinny. Although the initial impression of the advertisement asserts the idea of becoming a beautiful being, Trojan also seems to be only marketing to a certain type of people. This conveys a message to the viewers that only people who are beautiful are allowed to use this product.
Men, who are stout-like and short, as conveyed through the pigs, are not considered as real men who do use condoms. Consequently, this advertisement exposes the idea of body image: only beautiful people use the Trojan condoms. If Trojan portrays man as an animal, then it shows the implication that Trojan themselves have not yet “evolved” from their ideas. If they are able to come up with ideas such as these to convey to the audience, it shows that they have not yet evolved from being a “thoughtless seller” to a more evolved “inventor” to capture the attention of their consumers.
Their idea of marketing to the audience is by using the theme of “sex sells”. If we are able to transform from such implications and move on to new ideas that better portrays society, then we are able to evolve into a new level. Every day, many industries are trying to develop new ideas to convey their messages or to sell their products to the consumers in the market. Some of these advertisements are sold to numerous magazines and television stations. Whoever the viewers may be, they all range from different ages, cultures, and body types.
In order for a company to be considered as “evolved”, such as understanding their own view and also the consumer’s view, they first have to discover their reasons as to why and whom they are portraying their message to. They have to first realize that their promotion will not be judged on a first look, but also pertaining to its hidden significance. If they claim their product is a certain way, such as Trojan has claimed, then they should be responsible to uphold their reputation as a well as to how they have portrayed their advertisement as a whole.
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