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Our Image of Study:
General Information on Trojan Advertisement
This advertisement was placed on the World Wide Web and magazines by the Trojan Condom Company; advertisement board. The circle encapsulates the scene surrounding the spectacular, masculine Trojan warrior; however through further examination, we realized that, in fact, the whole advertisement is centered around the man's crotch. His phallus is the focal point of the image, and therefore, clearly the most significant part of the message.
To look through a variety of lenses gives different meaning to the message of this advertisement. Through a Marxist lens, we can see an obvious reference to the upper class: the noble warrior, and his inferior, but loyal subjects. The social classes of these two different peoples are represented by the dominant male, and the submissive, rag-wearing females. This image depicts a clearly male-dominated society, where the women MUST be submissive to the male's request for sexual pleasure and the male is the character who is needed and wanted; the center of the culture. His phallus is the weapon he uses for domination. Based on the attire the male is wearing, the treasure chest filled with glorious tools for pleasure, and ornate design of the column, the image shows the powerful and wealthy male being the master.
It is clear that people of different sexes and ages would understand this message differently. From a feminist perspective, it is placing the male in a position of power. Not only is the man dressed as a warrior god with a stance of importance, but the females are scantily dressed (one may say even as slaves - the dresses are ragged),on their knees and reaching up to the man's "scepter". This ad is degrading to women on many levels. This advertisement is all about the man.
Young Adult Male Lens:
Through an adolescent male lens, this advertisement could really affect my choice in condoms, and even how I view sex. Through this lens, I see an awesome Roman warrior-the epitamy of the dominant and masculine man. I see that he has two hot chicks bowing to him, reaching for these Trojan condoms out of his treasure chest of pleasure. The images and wording used suggest that this advertisement is taken from ancient Rome, or somewhere significant in history--making it all that more reasonable for me to view this ad. as reality. It's "Old-School," in other words. As far as the sex is concerned, from an adolescent lens (one of confusion, insecurity, and insane hormones)--in this ad., I get the idea that women should be submissive, and the male (me) should be dominant like a warrior, and if I become this ideal man, or at least buy the "Pleasure Pack"--from Trojan, then I can get even two women to sleep with me...maybe twins. Pretty exciting for an adolescent mind--Either way, it CENTERS around the MAN, rather than the woman.
First things first, the lifestyle represented by this advertisement is one of promiscuity and lust, rather than one of unity and love. In fact, love is not represented at all by this image, nor are traditional values in our culture today; such as monogamy and faithful marriage.
The point of view used in this image is one from the powerful male, sexual and dominant. Instead of a partnership, these women appear to be pleasure tools, much like what the male possess in his treasure chest.
This advertisement appears to be sent to the male in our society, stating that by buying this product he may become the dominant male with a "variety" of sexual experiences. On the contrary, this advertisement also speaks to the female. For example: A young girl, desiring the approval and recognition from her male partner, and possibly desiring her man to BE that dominant, strong male in the advertisement, may choose this product. Also, the females depicted in this particular image are not extremely attractive, and do not represent the competition. So many other condom advertisements and images include incredibly attractive, ideal women who are nothing but competition to young females, in which to compare themselves to.
Producers and Consumers
The target audience is obviously men, but quite possibly women too, because if they buy the Trojan "Pleasure Pack," they can obtain pleasure from their man (seen as the masculine Trojan warrior in the advertisement). I think that although this message can be viewed as male domination, and offensive to women as well, there is a certain targeted group of females that this advertisement focuses on--i.e. women who desire that masochistic, dominating male--the warrior. (We could trace this desire for a large warrior male by the female from the beginning of history.) In truth, I think that the target audience that this advertisement was created for is vast, and because of the depth and detail given to the image used, it speaks to many different people. First, the insecure adolescent male, who desires to be this masculine warrior and point his scepter in a variety of directions. Next, the average male who, in a committed relationship, wants to spice things up and be the warrior shown in the image of this advertisement, for his woman. Also, he may be seeking the "shared pleasure" from the pack, or even "her pleasure." Finally, the woman who fantasizes about a similar masculine, dominant male, warrior and lover, and picks out this product because she envisions this sort of scene in her mind. I think that the "variety" in this advertisement really means just that.
Obviously, a lot of time was spent by the marketing board at Trojan, and they used age-old symbols and quality artwork to enhance their message. I know that every single image in this advertisement was planned out, and even the facial expressions on each of the three individuals suggest something. The signs that the company use in this image are unique, except for the popular Venus symbol, representing femininity. However, in this particular advertisement, even the Venus symbol is really one of the signs for the product. The Trojan "Pleasure Pack" consists of four different types of condoms: "Twisted Pleasure;" "Her Pleasure;" "Mint Tingle;" and "Shared Pleasure." These four types of condoms are represented by four signs: two snakes twisted together, similar to the old Greek image, Cadeceus--the symbol for a spiritual awakening, representing "Twisted Pleasure;" the symbol of Venus, representing "Her Pleasure;" a mint leaf, representing "Mint Tingle;" and a flame, representing "Shared Pleasure." It is clear that some serious thought was invested in the creation of this image, and the final product is one that displays an ancient style, but speaks to the contemporary man or woman.
I think that this message can be interesting to almost everyone . There exists a large amount of symbolism, coming from the ancient Romans, and elsewhere, which supports this message. The wording in the advertisement is historically old as well, peaking the interest of someone with a knowledge of literature and language. The seductive, subserviant women reach out to almost any man, especially a man with the "old school" way of thought, that the woman exists to serve the man--even going back to a biblical reference. However, there is obvious material that is not compatible with the Bible. The Roman warrior--a Trojan, is well known in our society because of our interest and study of Roman culture, and the domination that this culture had over many areas and peoples of the earth. The warrior, in general, is thought of as a powerful entity, almost god-like in our culture, and many others. There are many messages in this advertisement which draw the attention of its audience.
Messages and Values
This message is simply unrealistic to the public eye, being that it misrepresents the art form and sensibility of sex.The message is used to falsely perceive that if one wears this particular type of variety pack condoms, their sex life will become vividly wild and fulfilling. The message on the ad states “Impart Variety to thy Scepter,” meaning that the more variety an individual has, the more his sexual desires, fantasies and drives will be induced by others. Everyone loves variety in their life which is why this message does cater to most individuals. Diversity is not always that important in people's lives, but I know that most individuals veer from going through the same repetitive lifestyle or motions. The imagery seen in this ad gives a false mis perception of how using a condom does not determine how many multiple sexual partners you may have.
As stated before, variety can be a crucial component in determining one’s sexual standards and drives to their counterparts. The more diverse a person’s sexual lifestyle is, the more experienced and cultured they are with that type of race. The variety pack in the ad centers around different type of condoms that provide dissimilar sexual sensations towards the individuals that use them. As a result, one who uses these condoms will experience the differentially of each condom's specific usage on their counterpart. Each condom might have different feeling or sensations that the manufactures put on them in order to create variety, but they do not exemplify that an individual will be able to sleep with a different person or multiple persons if they use this condom.
The main social message that this ad provides is that variety is great, especially if in correlation to one’s sexuality. The Ideological message is that if a young teen or adult male were to where this type of variety condom, then they would be viewed as a true dominant, admonished and genuine warrior or counterpart by their peers. It focuses on pronouncing that in order for one to have total control and be viewed as a definitive figure in society, you must use these variety pack condoms in your sexual exposures. What male does not want to be viewed as a popular, powerful and sexual warrior or figure to their opposite gender? Many people want to conform to these ideals which is already seen in today’s society, so the message executes all of these aspects from both genders of the spectrum but mostly from the teenage or adult males perspective.
One behavior in particular that our group all agreed on in this advertisement is the way in which the women are humbly bowing down to the male figure in this picture. One word in particular that comes to mind is submissive. The women in this add seem to be on a lower playing field than the man. The seem to be looking up at him for their next direction and/or purpose. Their body language seems to suggest that they are at his service. This image of the two women bowing down to the male send the message of unequal partnership between the two sexes. The fact that the two women are yearning for whatever that mans "treasure box" offers sends the massage that the man is in full control. More so, the two women do not seem to mind his role. here they seem to be embracing it. As far as consequences are concerned, their is no symbolism for love or relationship commitment in this add. Instead, we are presented with the idea that this man is not interested in a monogamous relationship. However, he is interested in a variety of women back to back. It is probably safe to assume that the variety pack is to live up to its name with regards to the variety of women and their needs that the man seeks to meet and have sexual relations with.
The first and most obvious aspect omitted from this advertisement is any form of commitment, relationship or marriage between a man and a women, Secondly, there is no mention of using this product to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Nor, is there any mention of using it to prevent pregnancy. Thirdly, why do the women really want to have sex with the man or does he have some form of control over them? lastly, is there any other purpose to using this particular "variety pack" of condoms other than just for casual sex? Overall, the message from this add seems to be clear cut and male dominated. it has completely omitted any moral or feminine driven messages.
Codes and Conventions
Although this advertisement seems to be an authentic themed depiction, we feel that it is being used to show men of this modern age that they can too achieve the same form of respect, honor, and submission as the Trojan warrior in the picture. The main characteristic that the male figure seems to obtain is confidence. In addition, the only factor separating him from the women is his treasure chest of "ammunition" or brand of condoms. overall, this massage is geared towards men today who want to reflect the same image of strength, agility, control, and dominance. This add also seems to be geared toward men that look up to a the stereotypical/historical Trojan mans demeanor. The add is simply directed towards todays modern day/tough Trojan men.
The look of the ad is reminiscent of Greek or Roman mythology with references to a warrior male of epic proportions. The subservient females ("slaves" possibly) are in positions of inferiority reaching for the glory contained within the male figure. The muscular physique of the male is well displayed around the armor of the soldier man. The rays of light shining behind the male lends an air of supernatural to him. The ad is full of symbols beyond that of the male and female figures. The phallic symbol of the large column is way out of proportion with the size of the man alluding to extreme sexuality. Within the band surrounding the figures are symbols relating to the variety found in the pleasure pack. The Venus symbol of female, the mars symbol for male, a caduceus - a symbol of the wand of the god Hermes, a leaf symbolizing the mint variety, a flame symbolizing heat are all contained within the outer circle. The look of this ad leads one to believe an intentional reference is being made to Greek or Roman culture which interestingly enough has deep sexual implications.
By far the largest emotional appeal was made to the male ego. This brand of condom would make you more manly, provide the opportunity for a variety of sexual experiences, and even alluded to the fact that more than one female would be available. It also hinted that the women would be pleased with you for choosing the variety offered in this product.
This ad is very different from other condom ads we found. Most of advertising for condoms is done in the print medium. The majority of ads we found used extremely attractive women in a variety of seductive poses. The main message with most of the ads was the implication that these women could be yours if you used the particular brand advertised as well as the inference that she would be very pleased with your choice of condom.
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