As a regular international traveler, I believe the Korean air advertisement views men as the target market. The advert brings forth a bevy of beautiful girls cat walking in even fashion, then converging at one central point, followed by the phrase, “excellence in flight, Korean air” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEvR_DSW4MA).
From a gender studies perspective, this advert uses sexism, as a way of catching the consumer’s eye. While the idea behind the advert is to show off the new Korean air uniform, and encourage people to fly Korean Air, women are portrayed in a sexual manner. The manner in which they walk, smile, and look is meant to make them appealing to the male clientele.
The sex appeal motive is also evident in the women’s body shapes and faces. Almost every man in the world is attracted to a curvaceous body and a pretty face. One can argue that the fact that all the ladies in this advert have pretty faces and next to perfect bodies is not accidental. It is a mind game to lure people to Korean air, expecting to find the same image on the flight.
From the above, a question emerges, how are men and women portrayed in this advert? Though there are no men in this advert, it is clear that men are expected to be visual beings, who are easily lured by the physical outlook of a woman. The fact that there are no males in this advert also points to an issue of gender psychology. Psychologists believe that men are usually attracted to the external look of a woman, while women are attracted to a man’s character. In essence, having men in such an advert no matter how well built they appear, might do little to attract the female clientele.
Moreover, this advert plays with the psychology of male fantasy. Married or not, every man has a dream of bedding a curvaceous, pretty faced woman. Korean air understands this fact. That is why they use images of beautiful women to introduce a new uniform, as well as attract people to the airline.
The sexist ideology behind this advert proves that consumerism is about desire. Advertisers’ capitalize on human desire. They first understand what the human mind desires in a given field, then play to those desires. It is on the same principles that Ponzi schemes come up and thrive.
Looking at this advert from a personal point of view, I would say that it is about me. As a man, I find the women in this advert quite attractive. The images of Korean Air’s new uniform are cemented in my mind. Moreover, next time I fly, I will use Korean Air anticipating to be served by women as beautiful as those in the advert. If those in the actual flight do not meet the standards of those in the advert, I will revert to Airlines, which I am accustomed to.
The only downside to this advert is that it can be seen to devalue women. Feminist crusaders might argue that people need to place more value on women, beyond their bodies and not simply selling their image. Beyond the feminist controversy, this advert is above board and serves its purpose.
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