A Discussion Paper on Gucci Guilty Cologne Ad

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Abbey Martin
WGSS 223- Discussion Paper #3
This “Gucci Guilty” cologne ad from Cosmopolitan Magazine shows a seemingly attractive couple using sex as a way of showing how the cologne will make both the guy and girl in a relationship feel. Both aren’t wearing clothes and are in a passionate embrace. The ad shows that woman as submissive, sexual, stereotypically attractive, and that she should aim to cater solely to their man. It also shows that man is dominant, also stereotypically attractive, and that he needs sex to make him happy.

In the ad, the woman is positioned below the man and is looking towards him almost as if she needs him to pay attention to her and value her. The man is positioned above the woman looking straight ahead as if he almost doesn’t even care that she’s with him. This presents the idea of submissiveness and that is more important for the woman to cater to the man than it is for the man to cater to and pay attention to the woman. Similarly, the ad itself is a men’s cologne, but is marketed towards women by appearing in Cosmopolitan Magazine. Instead of marketing towards men (since it’s their cologne anyway), the ad focuses on women aiming to please their man and maybe nice cologne can help do that for them. The ad perpetuates the idea that women have no value separate from the man that they are with and that their goal should be to please the man and submit to him always.

The main concept of this ad is sex. I understand that sex sells, but I don’t think it should be that way. This ad makes it seem that in addition to finding value in the man that the woman is with, that value should come directly from your sex lives and whether or not he is pleased with you. It portrays the woman to be sexual. Sexual enough to maybe buy the cologne just so everything can be even sexier. However, the man in this image is portrayed as casually sexual. It’s not as intense or significant on his end. He doesn’t seem to care; he has this blank stare like...
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