Commercialized Stereotypes

In our day and age of intense socialization by the media, the following stereotypes from msnbc's Testpattern are worth exploring:

  • If there's a dad in a commercial, he's almost always a doofus with a smarter wife who smiles benevolently at him when he does something dumb. Dads in commercials like sports, TV, barbecuing and sitting on couches. They're often chubby.  
  • If there's a woman in a commercial, she loves shoes and shopping, kids and chocolate. It practically goes without question that she's a mom. Even if her kids seem to be pushing 20, she herself never appears older than 35. She often has a gaggle of giggling girlfriends who wear snazzy outfits even to the playground. She and her girlfriends are never overweight.  
  • If there are single people in ads, they are always having the time of their life. They dance the night away, take cruises to exotic ports of call and spend hours drinking colorful drinks in bars, although they don't get drunk. They're never lonely.  
  • Babies are adorable and never have colic or tantrums.  
  • Kids are cute and freckled and use words that are way too advanced for their age.  
  • Almost everyone lives in a giant house in the suburbs with a huge front lawn. (Unless they're farmers, in which case they always wear denim overalls and are constantly riding a tractor.)  
  • Everyone has a kitchen that's bigger than my first apartment, with a giant marble center island.  
  • No one rents.  
  • Grandparents always have adorable puffs of white hair and want nothing more than to bake cookies or go fishing with their grandkids.  
  • No one over 60 has a job. 

  

What other stereotypes have you noticed in commercials?  

Posted in stereotypes

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Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
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