Thursday, April 26, 2012

Advertising posers...

Via Wandering Librarians, there's an article up on about a particular pose that crops up a lot in advertising involving women characters. I'd go further and say that the particular "looking-over-the-shoulder-butt-shot" is pretty common in animation and comics, too. Hell, it's become one of the "go-to" poses for women and girls in comics, even comics that are, in large part, marketed as "comics for girls"
The thing that I don't understand is the endless defenses of these sorts of ridiculous advertising and drawings. One commenter posts "Seriously though, I do see your point, and yes, those films are marketed towards men, and yes, it is effective."
But, really, is it?
The original article pointed out that this was the sort of advertising done for Elektra, but Elektra was hardly a success. Advertising is certainly important, and there's no doubt that it can sway people toward or away from a film, but it's really absurd to suggest that just slapping a sexually suggestive picture as your advertising is somehow an effective marketing campaign.
That kind of defense is actually tremendously anti-man, too. What does it say about men if you honestly believe that that is the best way to advertise to men? Am I really supposed to believe that the advertising for Avengers wouldn't be as effective if they had Black Widow, you know, doing something--anything almost--other than showing off her ass? It's an action movie about a bunch of comic book heroes having adventures and fights and explosions and such. There's just no way that you need to pretend the movie is about Black Widow's derriere in order for that movie to be a blockbuster.
I don't remember Iron Man having a bunch of posters of women's cleavage or posteriors to be successful. I'm just tired of seeing other men argue that we, as men, are so easily duped. That we're so shallow that all soemone needs to do is slap some T&A on a movie poster or a book cover or whatever, and we'll fall all over it. I just don't believe that's true. I think that men, like women, are actually interested in being entertained, and that having a bunch of sexually suggestive posters advertising a movie is secondary to whether the movie is actually good. If it's a fun, exciting movie, it's going to generally do well, even if the posters are covered in women's asses. If it's a shit movie, having a bunch of butts on the poster won't save it. So let's stop pretending that it's somehow a winning advertising strategy, right?
For your reading enjoyment, there are a number of blogs that discuss, debate, deconstruct, and otherwise [insert "d" word] the issue of really, really bad understanding of women's anatomy. Escher Girls "Striking a Pose" by Jim Chines (and the follow-up "Posing Like a Man" is really good, too). "This Needs to Stop and Let Me Tell You Why" by Ils.

No comments: