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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Tellys and (yes!) More Sexist Advertising...

Hello, my name is Michael.

And I'm an awards junkie.

I'm not ashamed to admit it. I like to win. Not Charlie Sheen #winning*, but real winning. Recognized-by-my-peers winning. Owning-the-advertising-world-for-three-minutes winning. Winning.

So first, the big news...

The Media Guy strikes again. Two Silver Council winners and three bronze trophies in the 2016 Telly Awards competition. What are the Tellys? Only one of the most prestigious honors in the the advertising industry. To quote, "The Telly Awards honors the very best film & video productions, groundbreaking online video content, and outstanding local, regional, & cable tv commercials and programs." 

So collectively, that's three Tellys, two CLIOs, and two Emmy Awards. Not bad. But I still have something left in this tank for more. Hopefully the win streak continues with a CLIO short list nod...

....speaking of the CLIOs, I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the submission my team has just finalized (and just in the nick of time for the May 20th deadline!).

Any time that your social media reach rises a medium average of 343% and all other tangible numbers that affect a client's bottom line rise a minimum of 21%, you've got to be happy. Cheers to the CLIO Awards jury who will review our submission this coming July.

I'm thinking seriously about launching a campaign that centers around my current obsession of eradicating sexist advertising and/or writing the definitive tome chronicling the American ad industry's treatment of women. Here are some recent rants:

The Happy Couple
Natan Jewelry

You want to know how NOT to win a Telly or a CLIO? Follow the creative lead of Natan Jewelry.

Let's start with the basics.

When you storyboard jewelry ads, you checklist the usual:

  • The bride to be, simple yet beautiful.
  • The man, either nervous or already holding the ring out.
  • A beautiful landscape, maybe a field or a beach.
  • The woman, of course is overwhelmed with surprise. 
  • An impressive, bank account busting diamond ring.

The jewelry ad is always shot from the happy woman's perspective, unless you are Natan and you decide to the exact opposite.

Take a look at the Natan ad. It immediately cries locker room talk and no respect for women. Not the kind of thing you want going into holy matrimony. This screams sleazy man-to-man, behind closed doors joking about their latest conquest a guy might brag that he purchased with a gift.

Psychologists would recap that the man has control of the woman by way of the ring. If you give women something they desire, they will do anything for you. The ad carries the false stereotype that women are also things to be bartered or simply bought off with something shiny.

Notice that the woman's legs are the only part of her body shown. You don't see the the expression on her face, or even her body language. You simply see the result of the offer and her willingness to obey every command from the man to sacrifice her purity not for the man himself, but for material objects such as diamonds.

In “The Cult of Thinness” by Sharlene-Nagy Hesse-Biber, she carefully points out that “our society encourages women to see themselves as objects.” Further, she muses how the beauty industry succeeds by nurturing female insecurities, explaining how the mirror, which reflects objects placed before it, is an analogy for how our society lives off of women’s addiction to weight and body image. This Natan ad makes a direct comparison between a woman and a diamond. The woman’s flawless skin and legs match up to the flawlessness of the diamond, suggesting that the beauty of women should be equivalent to the beauty of a diamond, an object that is cut, carved, and manipulated until perfectly beautiful.

And, alas, women's equality is set back by everyone who sees this ad.

* - The Wrong Way to Win (#Winning)