Regarding Semiotics in my book, there are many many (many!) advertisements that include representing Howell’s and Negreiros’s theory of the “sign,” the “signifier,” and “signified.” These represent something (sign), represent something else (signifier), and the connection between the two (signified). As an example of these, and something that I am only going to touch on, is the sexiness of some lingerie or a bra/pantie sale. Buying these products (shown on photo shopped magazines and online/television advertisements) will show you unconsciously that the model in the ad is sexy in the product, and will then make you sexy! So, instead of the model being photo shopped and have a rockin’ body to begin with, it is actually the product that she is wearing that will give you the attention of the male gaze and the inner confidence as if you lived the lifestyle of this model.
This post will delve away from a product whose advertisers are trying to gain customers by promising male acceptance. I will, however continue on to the advertisements that use and abuse the female population of the world. One of the products that infuriates not only me but other people, is the items provided “for her.” For instance, a razor, which is now widely known as a dark color for men, and pink or ergonomic or something for women. These razors are made for women, even though they are just a more expensive version of razor that men could absolutely use, but would never spend the money. A product that amazes me beyond compare is the Bic brand pens “for her.” Below, I will show a photo of this advertisement:
Clearly, this seems as if it were some sort of joke. This pen is no joke, but has many jokes tied into it. The brand of Bic not only signifies that women are not comfortable holding pens (for men??), but also that a women will be much more comfortable writing with a pen that looks the same, but costs more. According to Kmart, a 2-Pack of these Pens for Her are $4.59. For a 10-Pack of Bic Ballpoint pens in blue is $4.24. This being said, the “Pink Tax” (higher pricing on female products and products made for female use) is real and painfully accurate. Celebrities like Ellen have done comic bits on insane products like these. I will attach a link to the YouTube video, but it is not mine.
There is also another TV show called, The Office, that plays upon the idea of office supplies for women. Stanley Hudson, one of the characters, comes up with an idea for a paper for women called, Papyr. He mentions that it is soft and scented, with a coloring of pink. This television show is a comedy, and I am assuming that bringing this idea into the episode was a play at products for women, showing that they need softer and nicer products, like the pens mentioned before. Despite the joke, however, the products are all too real.