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Media studies

KS45:Advertisers pitch products at men and women very differently, and gathering and exploring advertisements can be a great way to start discussions about the differences between male and female representations in the media.

Firstly, ask students to compile advertisements about skincare, aftershave and deodorant products that are aimed at both sexes.

Promote discussion by analysing magazine advertisements for the aftershave Old Spice, dating from 1939 to 1949, at www.cr8on.comold_spice_ephemera.htm. Look at the images and the text and ask students to describe the qualities of the ideal American man.

Look at the advertisements your pupils have compiled and analyse them in the same way. Ask them to describe the qualities of the ideal male and female customer. What might the consumer feel they gain in terms of image, status and identity by buying the product?

Finally, ask what part each set of advertisements plays in the construction of gender images.

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