In the advertising world, products are rarely marketed solely based on their characteristics. Instead, they are often sold on the basis of seemingly unrelated factors, such as gender. This is perhaps most apparent in beer advertisements. They target male consumers through their portrayal of masculinity via the use of the male body and female objectification.
Beer ads often display a strong male physique in order to define masculinity. According to Katz, “one way that the system allows working class men (of various races) the opportunity for what Brod refers to as ‘masculine identity validation’ is through the use of their body as an instrument of power, dominance, and control” (Katz 351). In other words, men are able to assert their masculinity on the basis of their bodies. Beer advertisements reinforce this view by showing men with ideal, muscular bodies that represent what all males should aspire to if they want to be “real” men. They make male consumers believe that they can appear more manly by drinking their brand of beer.
Besides the use of the body, beer advertisements define a man’s masculinity on the basis of the women that are available to him. The females in beer ads are portrayed in a very sexual manner. There are physically attractive women wearing little to no clothing in suggestive poses. Jhally states, “in advertising, gender (especially for women) is defined almost exclusively along the lines of sexuality” (Jhally 253). Women are shown as sexual objects that are simply accessories to go along with the beer. The ads show that the reward for drinking their beer is appearing masculine, for which the ultimate reward is an unlimited supply of beautiful women.
“Budweiser.” Photograph. Individuality: The New Conformity. Web. 4 August 2011. http://thenewconformity.blogspot.com/
“Budweiser- so many buds.” Photograph. Beer Images. Web. 4 August 2011. http://www.beerimages.com/budweiser-so-many-buds/
“Corona Extra.” Photograph. KillingTime.com. Web. 4 August 2011. http://www.killingtime.com/Pegu/2009/04/30/basement-bar-design-things-to-consider-1-the-bargain/
Jhally, Sut. “Image-Based Culture: Advertising and Popular Culture.” Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Text-Reader. Eds. Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2003. 249-257. Print.
Katz, Jackson. “Advertising and the Construction of Violent White Masculinity.” Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Text-Reader. Eds. Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2003. 349-358. Print.
“Keith Stone.” Photograph. Bleacher Report. Web. 4 August 2011. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/758528-cm-punk-meltdown-power-ranking-the-13-wrestling-personalities-he-hates-the-most/page/3
“Samuel Adams.” Photograph. RifftRax Blog. Web. 4 August 2011. http://blog.rifftrax.com/2007/12/06/ill-take-a-michelob-why-yes-i-am-a-moron/
“Skol Beer.” Photograph. Singapore Media Owners. Web. 4 August 2011. http://mediaowners.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/sex-in-advertising-series-ii-part-3-skol-beer/
“Ursus Beer ad.” Photograph. Beer Images. Web. 4 August 2011. http://www.beerimages.com/ursus-beer-ad/