Thursday, February 23, 2017

Outdated Values in Modern Commercials

With the rise of the internet, television, radios, and any other form of media, commercials have become more and more incorporated into our lives to the extent that some of us think nothing of them anymore. Some commercials push new ideas and break stereotypes and fixed roles in our society, and others enforce them. Some people don’t even notice them. One particular commercial is Cascade’s Platinum Dishwashing Pods. This commercial does an arguably excellent job of hiding the gender role in plain sight, but it’s there. It enforces the gender roles of women, the “old maid” stereotype, and the outdated values of women and their domesticity. This commercial features a woman who is doing the dishes with her son helping out, but she’s disappointed with the results when she finds the dishes dirty. She then stacks the dirty ones on her son’s arms in a humorous sequence. This enforces the “old maid” stereotype that implied that it’s a woman’s job to wash the dishes and it’s up to a woman and only a woman to do it right.

This ad enforces the old stereotype that a woman’s place is to be cleaning the house, a stereotype common in the mid 1900’s. When she finds the dishes dirty, she stacks them up in the son’s arms while saying “No, no, no, nope”. The way that the woman shuns her son for not doing it right, implies the “never send a man to do a woman’s job stereotype”, which enforces the gender roles even more.

Along with this sequence of events, the commercial has a voice over as well. In the beginning, the voice over says “baked on alfredo?”, which is showing that this is what they had for dinner and why the dishes are dirty, but it also implies that the woman was the one that cooked the dinner, another gender role of the domesticity of women.

The commercial ends with the woman smiling at the clean dishes as a result of the commercial’s product (the detergent pods). Yet again, enforcing the old maid stereotype, she remarks “Nice!” when she sees the clean dish, pushing the idea of “a job well done”.

In the end, this commercial although less than thirty seconds long, is full of these stereotypes, gender roles, and old values. In particular, the “old maid”, the domestic woman, and the gender roles of the woman being in charge of cleaning the house.

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