A commercial is a type of advertisement targeted at a specific audience. The purpose of a commercial is to persuade its’ audience to buy the advertised product or service. Television has sped up the advertising process and since then it became not only a source for entertainment and news but also one of the most effective ways for advertisers to market their goods. One of the more popular kinds of commercials are sports commercials during sporting events. Since men’s sports games are broadcasted more often than women’s sports, the majority of the audience who watch these sports commercials are more or less men. Commercials during sporting events seek to connect with their audience, often targeting the man’s masculinity and self-consciousness, so whoever is currently watching the commercial would be enticed to think that s/he would need the specific product/service to make their life better for themselves or their significant other.
A recent two hour session from 7P.M to 9P.M, the television channel ESPN broadcasted a basketball game between the Miami Heats and San Antonio Spurs. During commercial break, a Gillette razor commercial was aired and displayed a fit Caucasian man shaving. Once done the man walked out the door and was given smiles by every woman he saw on the street. The slogan, “The Best a Man Could Get”, was displayed in clear white text, and said in a woman’s voice. The use of such techniques creates an alluring feeling when watching the commercial, therefore stating to the audience that using this specific brand razor nets a male popularity among women. The fact that a woman’s voice was used was to further imply that woman would adore a nice clean shave. The commercial is clearly targeting a man’s masculinity and self-consciousness about themselves. It makes a man want to be the man in the commercial, so the viewer would be prone to watching the entire commercial and perhaps buy the product.
As long as a commercials has something related to a male’s masculinity, it will appeal to the audience. Celebrities, such as sports stars, help advertise for commercials just by simply wearing the product. An example would be LeBron James, who wears a ton of Nike products. A commercial starring LeBron James showed him playing basketball while listening to music. The commercial goes into slow motion with close ups at James’ shirt, shoes, and headband, all clearly flashing the Nike symbol. Whether it is during a basketball game or on a billboard, the Nike logo is clearly visible. This creates an impression that if someone wore the same product the celebrity is using, one could create an illusion that s/he could be the celebrity. Although false, many are fooled to thinking that if they wore what a celebrity wore, their skills in basketball (in this case) would increase.
Commercials directed at men’s health greatly appeal to a male’s self-consciousness. Male audiences and some female audiences looking to better their significant other’s behalf would be interested in the commercial. Going back to commercials aired during sporting events, the most notorious one would be the Old Spice commercial. Basically it’s a muscular African American male named Terry Crews, advertising for deodorant in a very humorous way. The actor himself is a celebrity in his own right and the fact that in nearly every second of the commercial, he is flexing his muscles to rigorous intent, sends a message to the viewers. “Buy the deodorant and you can be like me”, is the message that’s being sent to the viewers, but what really the commercial is saying is that buying the deodorant would make one smell like Crews, not be like him.
According to a new study, if men feel their manhood is being threatened, there may be a psychological factor that results in changes of behavior. “Men are more sensitive about themselves when their masculinity is threatened” (Brown, Science Daily). Refer back