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.