The original ad I have selected presents a woman whose clothes are coming off while she is enjoying an alcoholic beverage. Bacardi’s line reads “Veterinarian by day. Bacardi by night.” The ad makes the assumption that women become “wild,” overly sexual, and inviting attention once they have a few drinks. There are a few issues with this ad, starting with the focus of the image on the middle portion of the model’s body. She is rendered visible and invisible at the same time. The woman is reduced to her body parts, so the ad victimizes her and marginalizes her individuality by taking away her face. She could be any woman. The fact that she could be any woman suggests a standard of beauty (extremely slim), heteronormativity, whiteness, and also the suggestion that all women get overtly sexual when they drink. The ad claims also that this is an intellectual, a doctor, a veterinarian, therefore a caregiver. Yet, once she has had some drinks, she invites all this attention by becoming a willing sexual object. This ad therefore furthers our violent, rape culture, which makes assumptions about women’s willingness to behave in certain ways, and which legitimizes actions done under the influence of alcohol.
My deconstructed version of the ad explains what is wrong with this kind of advertising. Bacardi has a whole line of such ads, claiming women are “librarian by day,” “veterinarian,” or other occupations, but all showing nothing but the middle portions of the models’ bodies. All women are reduced to their body parts and their sexuality is exaggerated. This type of ad promotes a rape culture which tells men that drunk women should or can be taken advantage of, because they become over-sexual when inebriated and therefore it is acceptable to take advantage of them. By using the writing on the image I want to emphasize that there are many layers of meaning and there is more to this ad than just its saying “Bacardi helps people let loose and have a good time.” Overly sexualized images of women send the message that women are dying to take their clothes off and engage in sexual activities, and the lack of individualism (no face) in the ad, sends a message that all women are the same. This sameness also implies certain things such as heteronormativity, hyper-sexuality, an overwhelmingly white culture, and implicit consent. Bacardi’s ads are overwhelmingly showing white people, therefore ignoring all other cultures and associating the drink with wealth, high class, and a certain lavish lifestyles devoid of rules.