Critical Thinking Media Competence

One Ticket, please!

As you walk through the streets, you see commercials everywhere, inter alia on busses, on the tramway, on posters and so on. When switching through TV-channels or surfing on the Internet, today`s society is constantly influenced by advertisement. The viable method to reach the audience is by referring to Sex. One of the most famous brands using sexism in advertising is AXE. Showing nudity and beauty, they are leaders in turning the spectators into loyal consumers.

AXE started as a label of male grooming products in 1983 in France and expanded into the whole world. Nowadays they also offer a small selection of goods for women. In the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland they are also known as LYNX due to some trademark problems.

 We are going to analyze one of their ads particularly shown in these mentioned countries called „Lynx Jet".[1]

 It is similar to an advertisement for an airline company. They attract attention by selling the fantasy of men who are served by half naked stewardess. As they push a button, the flight attendant comes right a way to fulfill their wishes, for example to do a pillow-fight, to warmth their customers with their body and also to give delicious massages.

Even if the sexism used is obvious, we will choose certain parts to analyze and to explain its effects on the spectators.

 

In the first scene we can see how seven beautiful and sexy women are walking straight forward to the spectator. Since the very beginning the person watching the advertisement feels exclusively addressed.

In the next scene, the passenger gets special attention by the stewardess. From his facial expression it is to be seen that he is filled by joy and a strong feeling of security. Also observable is her pleasure on his happiness. Hence, the spectator gets the impression that the woman is not only doing her duty but is also enjoying it.

Watching along, only men are served by those female flight-attendants. They carry alcoholic drinks and food right to the customer. The women wear yellow uniforms with short skirts and plunging necklines. They are always smiling and looking friendly and obliging.

The women sitting on the lap of the passenger on the following scene is selling herself by entertaining him with sexist gesture as she licks her finger with passion and joy. She tries to seduce him. To the men sitting as well the men watching the ad, this behavior of a well-looking woman to just concentrate of him/them leads to a feeling of self-confidence.

Then, the passenger is able to choose between three possibilities in the "board program". The first one is spanking. It would probably mean watching a woman getting punished. The second one would be observing a woman doing hula hoop, what means to shake with her hips and butt.

The last one, which he is actually taken, is ought to be pillow fighting, an interaction between two woman beating each other. The traveler choosing one possibility feels important, powerful and in control of his desires.

However, the passengers will not only be entertained but also spoiled on their flight. They can take a bath, be feed and get a passionate massage. They receive a kind of luxury and special care they have never had before.

One of the last images is the airplane in gold with the label on it what also represents luxury and uniqueness.

During the advertisement, there is a male commentator who emphasized the scenes by using words like imagine, experience, new level, comfort, future, entertainment. Even if the audience should pay attention to the images shown in the video they should also have in their mind these quite simple but impressive words.

After gaining the viewer’s full attention they finally present the product in black and gold as well as the slogan „Get on. Get off” which can be seen as a wordplay. One meaning is related to the field of flying - get on the plane and get off up in the air - like getting away from your life at home and fly straight to the fulfillment of your desires. The second one could be linked to the product - get it on your skin and get rid of your old attitudes to feel more comfortable.

Our suggestion: just watch the ad and you will get the impression we did. On that flight with this airline, you can feel free, spoiled, cuddled. Even if you just get what you paid, you feel not only special but also a kind of hot. It does not matter where you are from or where you want to go. All that matters is the way you will get treated by whom.

This is AXE target, to cause that kind of feeling. Put on the LYNX deodorant, never mind if you are a businessman on your way to work or a nerd right on to the next comic convention, and you get the most exclusive ride of your life!

So, if you just disregard the manner of presenting the women in short dresses, do you think it is poorly sexism or may a new attitude to life for men regardless of which kind?

Find YOUR answer.


[1] Video and pictures from YouTube