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Gender Stereotypes


Dewar’s- This ad shows a beautiful, sexy, rich woman drinking a glass of scotch, with the words “The Drinking Man’s Scotch”.  The stereotype that this ad is countering is that scotch is a man’s drink.  However, since the woman is drinking a glass of scotch, it shows that it is not only for men, but also for women who are assertive, career focused and successful.

It is interesting that the woman in the ad is dressed in a way that exhibits some masculine features.  She is wearing a man’s watch, is sitting in a leather chair that might typically be in a man’s office and the background is certainly more masculine than feminine.

I feel this ad also reflects on the stereotype that men want a beautiful, self assured woman who drinks scotch.  For instance my grandmother drinks scotch, but since this ad is aimed at younger or extravagant people, a grandmother would not make anyone want to consume their product.

true value

True Value-   This ad shows a woman standing in front of a bunch of tools with the words “MASTER OF ALL THINGS HARDWARIAN”. It is a stereotype that men are the manual labor type and the ones who shop at hardware stores.  They are the ones who supposedly do the yard work and any physical labor that needs to be done around the house.  I feel this ad counters those stereotypes, though, since it shows a woman who works in a small hardware store and who appears confident about how to answer any questions regarding painting and the use of different tools.

Another way this counters the stereotype that men are suppose to do the manual labor jobs around the house is shown in the statement “master of all things hardwarian”.  Since males are expected to do those types of jobs, it is implied that they are masters in that field as opposed to women.  Since this woman is standing there confidently with her hand on her hip, and the ad has the word master in it, it implies that she is a master of hardware.

This ad depicts the female role differently from the sexy woman in the Dewar’s ad.  It would not be quite as effective to have the woman dressed in feminine elegance.  No one would believe it.  Therefore, this woman was given a more masculine look with the short hair, and manly shoes and clothing, including the rolled up sleeves, allowing True Value the opportunity to target both genders without appearing to inhibit men.


Rice Krispies- This ad reflects a gender stereotype.  Obviously the first clue is the fact that the mother is in the kitchen with her children making a snack.  The caption of “Don’t let the summer days melt away” infers that she is a mother who does not work because she is home with her kids during their summer vacation.  Furthermore, I believe the use of black and white subtly reminds viewers of days when women were expected to be only homemakers and in those days, ads were in black and white.  The little girl even looks like a kid from the 1950’s with her hairstyle.  Of course the use of color to emphasize the Rice Krispies brings us back to the present which could cause all mothers, working or not, to want to make this comfort snack from childhood days.

Since there is not a father figure in the ad, it implies that the dad is out making money for the family. It also reinforces the stereotype that women are the ones who are supposed to take care of the kids while the father is the bread winner.


Qunol CoQ10- This ad depicts a grandmother and grandfather in the kitchen with their grandson.  In one respect, this ad reflects a gender stereotype of the woman in the kitchen baking with her grandson.  This ad, however, counters the stereotype that women are supposed to be the main ones working in the kitchen.  In this picture the grandfather is the one wearing the apron and his hands are dirty, presenting an image that he is leading the activity.  The grandmother is not wearing an apron and she appears to be the helper and not necessarily the main worker in the kitchen.

Another way this ad counters a stereotype is by how the grandfather has his arms around the child and appears to be taking care of him.  It is a stereotype that the women are supposed to be the ones who take care of children and lead projects.  This does not appear to be the case, since it looks like the grandmother was possibly off doing something else and just came in to see how things were going. It seems like role reversal.

I think this ad also puts the focus on the man because it is for a product that helps protect the heart.  I believe our society still focuses more on heart issues in men so that is why the grandfather is the main focal point.  It has just been in recent years that our society has been educated about the risks of heart attacks in women so, for now, the ad is more powerful targeting men.

Jefferey Modell Foundation

Jeffery Modell Foundation- This ad counters a gender stereotype.  Most people think rock stars are electric guitar-wielding guys, not girls.  There certainly have been rock star girls like Joan Jett, but not many.  The stereotypical rock star is a guy.  Even the way this girl is dressed paints the typical stereotype of a rock star.  The leather jacket and snake skin pants are something a 1980’s guitar player like Steven Tyler would usually wear.

This ad counters what a typical little girl should want to be when she grows up.  Most girls at her age like to pretend they are princesses, teachers, housewives or possibly a singer in a rock band, but most do not usually dream of being the lead guitarist in a band.  In fact, this ad draws attention because at first glance, one could assume the child is a little boy after reading the caption about wanting to be a rock star.  The following sentence, though, states that her name is Debbie.  It tugs on one’s emotions that this little girl had a health issue and now she wants to attain a goal that is typically male dominated.