In the first page at Amazon.com website under the “Toys and Games” category, there are several advertisements for action figures, dolls and accessories, etc. the first image representing the action figures is a colorful picture of captain America figure. Also, there is a small doll with a variation of colors from pink to purple. The website does not have a specific theme since the background is white with a streak of a black portion on top of the web page. However, the images of puzzles and a toy helicopter are symbols associated with children. Therefore these images in the advert target specific groups in the society.
The ad is aimed at an audience made of children. Most of the toys are used by children in the young age for playing. The advert with an image of an action figure aims to capture the attention of children who consider the action figures to be heroes. However, young girls are the aim audience for the advert with the image of a colorful doll. Similarly, the target audience for the advert with the image of a toy gun is young boys who are fond of playing with the toy guns. The use of toy images represents the children group in the society. The images include children’s puzzles, dolls and stuffed animal toys all of which represent children. However, the representation of children is gender biased for instance, the action heroes are male resembling toys while the dolls resemble females.
The advertisement for kid’s toys and games violates the gender norms of the society. The advertisement depicts some specific items to be associated with a specific gender despite them not being a necessity. For example, the dolls resemble females while the action heroes resemble the male gender. The violation of gender norms aims to appeal to an often-ignored group in the society such as children. For the case of an advert of a stuffed animal toys, the aim is to create humor since the image looks amusing. The content of the article is “doing gender” through associating specific objects with a certain gender. Dolls in the advert are associated with girls while toys representing action heroes are associated with boys. In addition the advertisements in the webpage have colorful themes which are attributed to children. The content perpetuates the issues of gender inequality. It continues with the societal gender expectations of girls playing with dolls while boys play with toy trucks or remote controlled toy helicopters.
The purpose of the content in the webpage is to inspire individuality among children. The images of the toys represented in the content influence the children to choose the toys they prefer based on the image represented. The content is however not targeted towards any specific gender. There are toy images associated with boys while others are associated with girls. Therefore, the content of the website is targeted to both genders. For instance, the image of dolls and their accessories is an image of a doll which resembles a girl. The image is therefore targeted to little girls who like playing with female dolls. Similarly, the image for “dress up and play” accessories is a boy dresses in an astronauts gear. The image targets boys who play role taking pretending to be different personalities. However, the image of a stuffed animal toy does not target any specific gender. The society associates animals with all the genders and therefore a stuffed animal toy is not inclined to any gender.
The use of the material in the advertisement is not ethical. The content encourages the society to continue judging the genders on the basis of societal expectations which are mostly not right. The producer of the material in the advert is however not abusing their power. It is legal to use such images in adverts. However, these depictions which are gender biased negatively affect the society. The society judges individual performance of gender based on recurring behavior. Therefore continual association of items with a certain gender makes the society judge individual performance of gender based on the associated behavior. The content of the advertisement is therefore dishonest since toys do not necessarily depend on the gender.
Solving the gender inequality or gender issues related is a big challenge due to widespread behaviors associated with gender. However, in the case of the content in the advert, the problem of gender inequality can be solved by sensitizing the society on how recurring behaviors do not depict gender characteristics. Also, the gender inequality in the content can be solved by ensuring that producers of materials brand them as unisex to avoid gender bias. Similarly, minimal use of colorful themes can be helpful in eliminating the association of certain adverts with specific gender.
In conclusion, most of the advertisements in the website are gender biased. Some are associated with certain social groups while others target specific groups. The gender bias results from the societal believe that recurring behavior dictates the performance of a certain gender. However, the problem of gender inequality can be solved through sensitization to the community. Similarly, organizations need to avoid targeting specific social groups such as a certain gender in their adverts.
Buchanan, Tom. “Aggressive priming online: Facebook adverts can prime aggressive cognitions.” Computers in human behavior 48 (2015): 323-330. http://westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk/15184/1/Buchanan_2015_accepted_author_manuscript.pdf
Holmberg, Nils, Kenneth Holmqvist, and Helena Sandberg. “Children’s attention to online adverts is related to low-level saliency factors and individual level of gaze control.” Journal of Eye Movement Research 8.2 (2015): 87-109.https://bop.unibe.ch/JEMR/article/download/2399/3595
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