Management Information Systems Essay Paper

Management Information Systems

Creative Principles

Advertising: Creative Principles

Advertising is the art of selling. It is not only colors, graphics and visuals that are increasingly becoming the central focus of advertisements today. The gender differences are used in advertisement since decades. Everyday thousands of advertisements are run on different channels and printed on magazines. There are hidden yet noticeable messages of gender discrimination in these ads. The paper analyses how gender is usd in ads, what does it depict and what is application of Goffman’s Sex and Gender codes today.


Advertising is communication of a marketing message used to convince audience to take action. These actions may include purchasing a product, availing a service, avoiding use of hazardous material, taking safety measures while doing tasks etc. Normally the advertisements are made for commercial purposes and are closely linked to sales of product or service (Tips for effective advertising, 2013). The consumer feelings and behavior is manipulated in the ads to encourage buying behavior. The advertisements can be run from mass media like Television, newspaper, magazines, commercial, radio, direct mail, blogs, websites etc. Advertising plays key and critical role in the product and company image building. It markets the product. Advertisements are so influential that a negative advertising can cause a lot to the company. Lipton for example launched first tea bags (Tips for effective advertising, 2013). The advertising manager designed the ad such that family makes tea on trip and tea bags are added to kettle while water boils. The advertising manager was hired for delivering wrong message about a product that was later found very creative and convenient.

Goffman’s sex and gender codes

Goffman’s idea is that biological differences between the genders are groundwork for inequalities prevailing in society that lead to men and women discrimination. He says that the physical evidences of life lack considerable social significance. He is of the view that social relations and institutions are constructed such that they promote gender differences. He says that the gender performances are depicted as something rooted in. He otherwise believes that the gender differences are socially produced. He says that public places and social constructs support gender differences.

Goffman’s sex and gender codes and Advertisements

The advertisements published in magazines display the gender stereotypes. Several behavioral aspects like perspectival position, plane of arrangement and look tell how males and females are stereotyped. Goffman worked on “Gender Advertisements” that elaborated how contextual analysis reveals that socially determined changes highlight gender differences and female gender dependence on males (Smith, 1996). He studies how hidden patterns in ads focus male dominance. He studied hundreds of ads and collected them in order and offered commentary on them. He says the ads are made considering that two genders belong to two sex-classes. The ads focus on how genders are different and how the product celebrates gender.

Advertising Media Today

Advertising takes place everytime an effort is made to promote use of something. People advertise their opinion and leader advertise their leadership. For business, advertising is backbone of selling and revenue generation. There are different advertising media as mentioned above and each use different creative methods. Newspapers would be probably the oldest media that is still used widely for the advertisements. The scope of newspapers varies from local to international (Burgess and Sulzer, 2010). The newspapers are read by different classes of society. A creative advertisement plan should know which newspaper to have the ad based on its readers-base (Nine Steps to Create Effective Print Advertising, 2013).

Television is one of widely seen media. TV plays even on railway stations and airports. TV shows ads for all the classes. However the creative ad maker should analyze what hours are most suitable for playing the ad for target audience (Tips for effective advertising, 2013). The advertiser should avoid to focus on idea that is memorable and just not only repeat the advertising line too many times and waste the cost of running advertisement on TV (10 great tips for effective advertising without the cost, 2012). The creative TV ad should cast professional actors and models and celebrities. Nonprofessionals can also be hired but after sufficient checking (Burgess and Sulzer, 2010).

Radio is one of the consistent modes of media. People particularly like to listen to radio while travelling and/or driving. On radio ad, the creative ad maker should keep the idea simple and should not communicate too many ideas in small slots. The ad should recap the benefits of a product and mention its price but this should not be so typical that the audience forget the ad after a while (Nine Steps to Create Effective Print Advertising, 2013). There must be a factor of creativity that is remembered for long and convinces them to act. The online media is also at its peak. The creative advertiser can use this media with a balance of picture and animation affects. Videos also run on webpages so the ad is not bound to be only an image. People are increasingly using social media that is focus of companies to attract young clients. The telephones and mobiles are also being used for advertising purposes. Messages are sent to target market highlighting promotional packages and calling to buy/visit or take other actions. Hence the commercial use of online and mobile sources cannot be ignored easily.

Gender in Advertisement today

Newspaper, TV, radio and internet, all use gender differences today more than Goffman’s time. The display of gender is much more prominent, intense and open. Though use of gender can help communicate product message more effectively since some products are for women and some for men, yet the idea is that gender should tell who is offered product not that gender inferiority or superiority is communicated. The researchers think that gender focus in advertising is not based on equality rather the societal in equal basis on which genders are perceived. The consumer researchers should encourage that gender should be used and depicted positively in advertisements without suppressing the role of women and her integrity.

Advertising in Australia

Advertising is multi-billion dollars industry in Australia. The role of gender is also evident in advertising in Australia. In the Australian context, the Goffman’s gender codes can be applied in following way.

1. RELATIVE Size and the Gender Ratio

An ad published in Australia for company is presented below. The Inspiration Room is advertised in the ad that is international movement to impact, shake and involve creative communities to develop international inspiration standards. Hardly a couple of women can be seen in the ad which is overloaded with pictures of men aiming to inspire.

Figure 1: Inspiration Room Print Ad (Australian Stereotypes in TV Ads, 2013)

2. Function Ranking

In Australian advertisement, the gender is apparently shown to be at same level of society. But in the ads when there is a face-to-face appearance of men and women showed, the executive role is given to man and the women seem to be the subordinate. The viewer can guess at first glance that the female gender is exposed to have a lower engagement job like in following ad the women are shown in bigger number yet in subordinate roles.

Figure 2: Australian Human Rights Commission Ad (Pathways back to work for older people, 2013)

3. The Family

The family is unit of society in Australia. The man is shown as the center of authority in deciding family matters. The ad given below shows that the man is all authoritative and powerful and the women are dependent on him for the decisions regarding their job, education and the health decisions. Man’s style is shown powerful in cowboy hat and glasses that give him bossy style.

Figure 3: Australian Home stay family (Homestay, 2011)

The father daughter association and mother son association is also often presented in the ads. This shows that daughter seeks protection in Fathers Company and mother seeks protection in the company of her son.

4. The Ritualization of Subordination

The ritualization of subordination is all about concept that women are shown to lay down or lean on back that positions them close to ground not showing them as straight standing up. Men are showed in erect bodies telling that they have more control on themselves that the women lack.

Figure 4: Shear Ewe Livestock Ad Australia (Canning, 2012)

The Australian models are shown to be lying on grounds or beds. They are close to floor that shoes that they are categorically subordinates.

5. The Bashful Knee Bend

Goffman says that knee bend is a symbol of previous or current efforts to flee from situation. The bent knee suggests that person is uncomfortable and expects harm from someone around. The ad image presented above, the women has bent knee. That portrays female gender to have security concerns. She is found uncomfortable and ready to quit the room or situation. The gesture tells that the women as a gender have reservations that they hold even if they do not have power to communicate.

6. Body Clowning

It is not only nudity that is stereotyped with women in ads in Australia but also the women are shown displaying their bodies as the clown would do. The clothes of women models have shrunk from the skirts to bikinis. The total nude pictures are also common. The men on the other hand are shown in decent dressing displaying an elegant style. The women are asked to take closer shots than the men. The women are not only hired and casted nude in the ads of women personal care products but also the men related items and services.

7. Mock Assault Games

Even in the groups where there are more men than women, the women are mocked more for their gender related stupidity, nudity and physical weakness. They are treated as representatives of female gender not mere human beings.

8. Licensed Withdrawal

The women are often portrayed to engage in activities that can uproot them emotionally from the environment and they daydream. This leads to disoriented behavior at workplace and at the social gatherings. They are often found to turn gaze while talking, often they ask to repeat what is said. They would often talk on phone while sitting gathering that shows how disoriented they are.

Figure 5: Women in Australian Science Media Center ad (National Media Briefing, 2010)

The disoriented behavior shown in the ads leads to conclude that the women escape from reality to find pleasure in imagining that they are somewhere else. This shows lack of confidence and trust in themselves as well as the society.

9. The Masculine Hold

The hold of men is not only shown stronger in Europe and America but the Australian men are also shown to have more firm and solid hold that displays their confidence and domination. The men use to hold things not simply touch them, in shops, while walking, sitting or making decisions, the men are found to hold things in hand while the women simply touch items in shops and homes and are satisfied without holding.

Figure 6: Australian Red’s Center (Get your summer started, 2013)

The women are shown to lose energy with aging but the hold and authority of man is shown not to fade ever. This is a contradiction between gender perceptions with aging.

10. The Feminine Touch

The women are directed in ads to touch things fingers rather holding them in full hands. They simply feel the outline of the object a not the object as a whole. They are shown to have least concern with the mass and other features but they emphasize on their delicacy that does not allow them to hold things fast.

Figure 7: Feminist touch shown in Australian Science Media Center ad (National Media Briefing, 2010)

11. The Protector and the Protected

The gender stereotyping of women in ads also include that they are mostly dependent in need of protection by offered by men. The investigation of categorizing focuses such that use of hands, feet, gestures and selection of words shows that women are dependent on men as the picture shown below:

Figure 8: Australian Ticketek Ad (Fleetwood Mac, 2013)

All the men shown in the ad are standing on their own without showing dependency on any other in the group but the woman is showing unique style where she is seeking help, protection and support from the man.

12. Head Eye Aversion

The angle and position of eyes and head tell a lot about the state of mind. The tilt head means suppressed feelings and a state of being depressed. The female models girls are shown with a tilt head as a symbol of beauty and attractiveness. However Goffman finds it to be a symbol of being suppressed and dominated by the other gender. The women are depicted with tilt head in public to show that they have fear of gatherings and socializing.

Figure 9: National Library of Australia ad (Marina 2010)

13. Infantilisation

The women are pictured in ads as ones that want to be as delicate as a child. The women like the ad below are attracted by telling them that they can have delicacy and softness of a child. The child’s skin and innocence is advertised as attributes related to women. The women are not shown to have any interest in the factors that relate to their age like wisdom, work, socializing, decision making and understanding.

Figure 10: Cosmetic Ads (Baby Lips) for women with infant feature categorization (Wade, 2011)

While men are interested to show themselves and fashion themselves as elder than their age, the women want the opposite. Hiding their age and seeking to buy products that will hide their age.


The job of creative advertisements seems a fun from outside but involves extensive background analysis and trials. The advertisement is not creative only if it is too complex. Simple yet unique ideas work the best. The use of gender in advertisements can seem simple too but they may communicate wrong messages about gender dependencies. The advertiser needs to use gender creatively in ads. Creativity can come from demographic factors like age, gender, education etc. positively or the features of product like price, size, quit, quantity etc. The advertiser should never forget that true message and creative style is what remains in memories and convinces audience to act. Gender should be used as tool of advertisement not target of advertisement.

Goffman believes that women are depicted as weak, tender and delicate in the ads. They are shown to be those that lack control and are in need of someone else to help them decide. He believes that creative use of gender is absent in ads and women are shown to be a subordinate gender that can be easily exploited by the opposite gender i.e. men.


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