Monday, November 9, 2009

Against "Boy Toys"

Philippine Star columnist Cito Beltran is against the use of sexy men for advertising as he has written today. Read his interesting view:

Sex they say always sells.

So “Sex” is now the basic formula for anyone in marketing or any company with a product to sell. From deodorants, underwear, tuna etc there is always a graphic attempt to connect some bare-chested man or an almost naked man or woman in an advertisement.

But when you think about it, you really have to wonder, will the hunk and hottie posing for the tuna commercials become over night blimps if they stopped eating canned tuna? Would you even be interested to date a guy or a girl who probably smells like cat food every time they sweat?

I’m sure you’ll lose a lot of weight if all you ever eat is canned tuna, but what would be the scientific effect on the human body? Will you actually have muscles or fish scales? I don’t mean to be irreverent considering I patronize this particular canned tuna, but there is once again the danger of exaggeration that could put the advertising industry under fire just like they did with Milk products.

In the T-shirt and undergarments business one brand stands out not for the uniqueness of their products but their propensity to display almost naked young men. What we thought was a momentary idea has started to become their corporate symbol. “Boy toys” with nothing but undies.

I know that the average Jane and Joe admire a sexy woman. But most average Jane and Joe don’t react too well with “boy toys” in underwear. Call it bias, call it prudish, call it what you want, but there is a serious need to challenge this over emphasis on naked bodies and sex.

Just this month we noticed billboard ads of a bare-chested man meant to sell some throat medicine. In keeping with the trend, it was no longer sufficient to focus on the sore throat. They had to bare all.

I don’t know if it’s a case of “what goes around comes around”, but from the looks of it, the “sex objects” are now men and “boy toys”. The question is who is masterminding this obsession with male bodies in the advertising industry? Is it simply a trend or an underlying reflection of sexual preference or orientation?
Can we still call it legitimate “advertising” or is now “Commerce with Pornography”?

Here's my take on this issue:

How does he know that images of sexy men does not work for avertising? Apparently, the brands who have used them have been very successful (Bench, F&H, Nesvita, etc). How can he argue with such?

When I was young, I was quite uncomofortable seeing images of sexy men because I immediately feel a strong attraction to it which I knew was not socially acceptable. Mr. Beltran is probably feeling the same way. And for this reason, I completely understand where he is coming from.


bunwich said...

just the mere fact that people take a second look, if not spend at least 3 seconds staring on those billboards, is proof enough that "sex sells"

Anonymous said...

sa showbiz now,..di na uso ang hubaran tlaga,.kase nga di na gusto ng tao sa mlaswang stars,.lalo na pag batang babae o mga actress ang konting pasexy sa movies o posing...naku!!ayaw na ng tao ng ganun,..di gaya ng dati,..hubad ang gusto,.mas ok sa tao ang makita na role model at maayos o may silbi sa bayan mga stars kesa sinisira nila sarili nla diba??just for fame o money,.at least napangangalagaan natin mga karangan ng mga kababaihan sa pinas,..di sila naeexploit ,....ang showbzi now,.nasa tao at stars ang pagsikat o pag angat, naman lahat pweding sumikat diba>.destiny din bakit mo ipipilit,.masisira ka lang...chaneg!!pero wag paexploit,..b a scriptwriter,.director,..designer...yung may kinalaman padin sa arts o showbzi pero wag pa exploit,...godbles..

david said...

actually, it is a reflection of fashion market trends and personal preferences, including the advent of the meterosexual. in the past, it was often the woman of the house who did the purchasing so grabbing a guy's attention was not as important. and underwear was more of a necessity concern, not part of one's fashion. health and fitness is no longer limited to jocks and "queers" and it too has become a part of our social fabric. have gays played a part in this transition? sure they have but i think that is a good thing. perhaps mr. beltran should lighten up a bit. btw, lex, you are a still a young man. don't put yourself out to pasture just yet :-)

line of flight said...

Susan Bordo wrote a book called "the Male Body" in the 1990s. The highly manicured images of naked men used to sell products does have a negative impact on one's own body image. But this is a problem with advertising in general and Cito's focus on the "boy toys" does speak volumes of what has a charge in him. too bad he wasted his forum fixated on the men.

Snakey's Confessions said...

well, whatever mr. beltran says...these advertising still works!!! its the illusion that these ads create that drives the average person to "daydream" and rush to get the brand!!! i know that its what the advertisers want but cant help myself... it still works for me, so give me the boytoys anytime!!!