Monday, September 03, 2007

Sex Sells

As author Jean Kilbourne points out in her video lecture, "Killing us Softly," sex certainly sells. I took this picture in New York City several years ago, and for the longest time I figured that, New York being New York, this huge billboard was advertising some kind of clothing line named "Manhattan Mini Storage." I mean, why else would such a provocative picture be plastered over the skyline of Manhattan? Duh, silly me; when I googled "Manhattan Mini Storage" today in preparation for tonight's online lecture for my ENG W140 honors English class, imagine my surprise when I found that this company actually sells cardboard boxes and moves household belongings! This is not exactly a subtle use of sex to sell!

The Argument of Advertising

All advertising of course, is an argument that we should buy something. I took this picture several years ago in New York City, mainly because I like to take such pictures. However, as I was preparing my lesson plan to teach a section about advertising for my ENG W140 honors online course this evening I remembered I had the picture in my files and that it might be useful to study it a little further. Viva Glam is a cosmetics company, and as the ad copy says, the company donates all income from one of its lipstick colors to help support families who are suffering from AIDS. Isn't there something just a little ironic here? What exactly is the argument that this picture is making?