Analysis of Original Ad
In this fragrance ad by Tom Ford, a bottle is wedged between a naked woman’s breasts and she is covered in oil. The only parts of the body shown are her chest, mouth, and red fingernails. This ad is targeted towards men and what men want along with the message “If you buy this, you could get her”. This objectification of women shows how society sees women as sexual objects, and how body parts get sexualized and used in advertisements with no contextual relation. This ad is for men’s cologne, yet a naked woman is used simply in order to grab attention, not specifically sell the product. Sex sells, unfortunately, and men who want to be associated with the lifestyle are drawn to the ad out of normalcy of sexualizing women. This ad also assumes that every man is straight and sex-obsessed, a false assumption that is dominant in today’s societal thinking, that women exist to please a man, and that a man plays the dominant role. The image conveys that women are submissive and sexual, which is particularly dangerous with young kids and teenagers growing up in a society that brushes over the dehumanization of women. Tom Ford made a statement that the women he portrays in the ads are of empowered women that aren’t waiting for a man, but are strong and independent to chose if they want him, and that a woman’s (and man’s) body is beautiful. However, that sentiment does not come across in an image like this where breasts have nothing to do with selling men’s fragrance. Women are not a sexual object, and should not be portrayed as such in the media, let alone society.
I decided to jam the visual components of this fragrance ad to juxtapose the sexualization of body parts and dehumanization of a man instead of a woman. Seeing a man in this context is seen to be funny and humorous, when the only thing that has changed is the gender of the model. He isn’t being sexualized because society says its more normal to see a topless man and not be sexually provocative. This ad is for men’s cologne, so I believe that a man should be depicted. The perfume bottle is crudely slapped on top to emphasize that it really doesn’t have a place on his chest other than the point of making you look…after all, we are selling a perfume product here right? Advertisements like the original are all about the male gaze and who’s in control behind the lens, while in my ad, I’ve reflected upon the consumer realizing that sexual images have no place in selling a product. No one thinks twice when a naked woman is on an advertisement, but when swapped out for a man, a very average man, the advertisements entire tone and message changes. Not only is his pose comical, but he doesn’t have rock hard abs or portraying an unrealistic “perfect man” ideal. The fashion industry has turned a blind eye to sexualization of women, and even going as far as to promote and defend image choices like these. My jammed ad is for shock value, but I believe that ads selling product like perfume should be realistic in the power and expectation the product will have, instead of saying “buy this, and you will get access to your own personal lubed up blowup doll”.