Linking Brands to Emotional Appeal

In this 2009 Budweiser advertisement, a woman is seen laying down on a beer bottle in a provocative and sexually inviting way. She is showing a large amount of cleavage, and her clothes are camouflaged into the label of the bottle so that only her breasts and face are shown along with her thigh. To some extent she doesn’t even look like a real person. Her body is a little too perfect with her thin waist and large breasts, toned arms, and glowing and tanned skin.

The picture has clearly been Photoshopped.  It gives women who see the photo unrealistic ideas of what it means to be good enough, to fit society’s idea of what makes someone beautiful.

The figure in this picture is gorgeous, yes, giving the impression that this is the ideal body. Unfortunately, this is not a real body and it is essentially unattainable.

This emotionally-appealing image is what is being used to sell the beer, rather than the attributes of the beer itself.  You cannot taste the beer through looking at an ad, but you can see the brand.  The tactic is to link the brand with a strong feeling, such as sex. That way when you are buying the product, Budweiser in this case, you are really buying the feeling of sex.  You know what they say? Sex sells.

I think it is important that we stop justifying this as an acceptable way to sell a product.  It is harmful to young girls, women, and men alike.  The focus has been turned away from simply selling a product, but instead advertising a body type.  It damages girl’s and women’s body image and portrays to men that women are just objects, but they are so much more than that.

As you look at this ad consider these questions:
•    Do you agree that sex sells?  Why or why not?
•    Do you agree that ads like this objectify women’s bodies?  Why or why not?