Tag Archives: attitudes

iPhotos iEverywhere

iPhone CityiPhone TaxiiPhone ChildI know that this new iPhone advert is supposed to be poignant and heartwarming, but I actually find it a little but creepy and unnerving. I’ve probably watched too many episodes of ‘Black Mirror’, because this advert just reminds me that we’re under constant surveillance.

Everyone wants to take pictures of everything! I don’t like to think about it too much, but it really freaks me out to think that there is a very real possibility that a complete stranger has taken a picture of me either passed out or wearing a badly-chosen outfit, just so they can upload it to Facebook and get a few derisive ‘Likes’ at my expense. It’s even worse when you think about how this kind of attitude can escalate – like in the recent Steubenville rape case. It’s definitely got to the point now where taking photos all the time hasn’t just become mundane and disposable – like the scenes in the iPhone ad. Gawking and voyeurism is so deeply embedded in contemporary society that it’s become quite disconcerting. Especially because, to some extent, we’re all guilty of it.

With the recent introduction of Google Glass, a campaign group called Stop The Cyborgs have called for the gadget to be banned in certain areas – something which I am definitely in favour of. The BBC article covering the story raises a lot of interesting questions. While it’s definitely true that technology and innovative design makes our lives faster and easier, these new inventions are also shaping our attitudes in ways that very few could have predicted.

“Touch Both Sides For Added Enjoyment”

ImageUrgh. Horrible advert for the PS Vita by TBWA France.

I’m not normally that fazed by the petty sexism that permeates the media and advertising. ‘Sex sells’, I get it…whatever. And while obviously women’s rights are still a more contentious issue today than men’s rights, I do appreciate that in the Western world men come under a fair amount of sneering, scrutiny and gawking from women, too.

Still, this advert by TBWA France really got under my skin. It’s not just the sentiment, it’s that it’s a pretty shitty piece of creative work anyway. “Touch both sides for added enjoyment”, it enthuses, underneath a picture of a woman with four huge tits, a tiny waist and no face. NICE! Great way of saying that women and their breasts are just there just to be touched for the enjoyment of others. Maybe Sony’s console is, but was there really any need to draw a parallel between a mutant woman’s body and an inanimate, electronic play thing?
“Ahh,” you might say, “but the thing is, they are trying to appeal to a core demographic here!” And what demographic is that, then? Predominantly teenage boys and young men – exactly the kind of ‘demographic’ who might benefit from being taught that women aren’t just there to be leered at and groped.
More astonishing still, is that the art director on this ad was actually a woman. This feels like a really cynical and patronising attempt to appeal to men. If women are going to perpetuate these types of images in the media and pander to what they – perhaps misguidedly – believe that men want, then how will these sinister messages come to an end? For men to treat women with respect, then surely we need to give them credit for being intelligent as well.

Shame on you, TBWA France. I thought that French men were progressive types who loved romance, and French women were feisty and cool? You Frenchies should know better! You’ve totally ruined Amélie for me, and Simone de Beauvoir must be turning in her grave…