Gender Stereotypes in Marketing: What Has Changed?

Marketing practice, mostly advertising, is a reflection of a society, ruling socially acceptable norms, customs, values and much more. Advertising campaigns should in that context be observed as a mere illustration of reality reflecting the existing socially acceptable stereotypes and aiming to approach to certain future customers auditorium to buy the advertised product. 

It is interesting to analyse in this context the illustration of gender stereotypes in advertisements through the history of advertising. The analysis of advertisements from a certain period is what provides an insight into a general attitude of the society, social norms and values applied and applying in gender representation and gender equality in the analysed social context. It possible to spot a trend in advertising that began by portraying women and men unequally, at the very least, and the changes that followed until today where the advertising industry promotes «being a man or a woman» less conventionally in the manner of dressing, hairstyle, personal hygiene. Thus, traditionally female-oriented decorative and products industry (largest advertising category in the world with a total of ÂĽ-world budget for advertising) is turning towards the contemporary man. However, let us go hierarchically, analysing gender stereotypes in advertising through history. 

All up until the ‘80s it was more than obvious that the social norms were implied and that there was a different role to men and women in the society. The difference was visible in the popular ads of the period. Women were mostly presented as children men educate for various supporting roles. Men are, on the other hand, presented in various professions, against women being presented as homemakers and mothers, usually in an indoor space implying home. Further, women were mostly even physically shorter than men were, and in certain cases, several women, clearly suggesting their interest in him, would surround the man. 



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