“A vast number of commercial messages use images and representations of men and women as central, strategic components to capture attention and persuade (Gamble, 2003)(p.352).”

Ashton Kutcher recently became a celebrity spokesman for Nikon cameras. Since then, the commercials have featured Kutcher with a bunch of beautiful women, using the camera as a flirting tool, essentially. In this particular ad, Kutcher is hanging out at the “chateau” with a bunch of women who are playing with his camera while “he doesn’t know”, when he really does know. They steal his camera and past it around, everyone taking “Facebook” style pictures with the Nikon Coolpix.

What I like about these commercials, though, it that they are aimed for both men and women–even though they may re-enforce some traditional gender-role expectations. Women want the camera because it’s cute like Ashton Kutcher and men want the camera to get all the girls, like Ashton Kutcher. In this commercial, he is featured as perhaps a young bachelor who’s payroll isn’t hurting him (with the chateau and all) who is also very smooth and an overall nice guy. You just want him to be your best friend. This enforces the gender stereotype that men should be successful. The women featured are mostly young, beautiful women (enhancing the stereotype that women should be those things) but an older woman is also featured in the commercials, too. This also breaks traditional stereotypes because the commercials include someone who wouldn’t normally try to portray their product as trendy by featuring an older woman. Yes, the commercials show the women as possibly being dependent on the wealthy young guy, but they more so show young women hanging out with a cute guy. I don’t really feel as if there’s an alternative motive with those girls–the commercial kind of makes it feel as if anyone could be them, stealing the camera, because we’ve all done those “Facebook” shots at some point.

Nikon. (2008). Ashton Kutcher featuring Bounce With Me. Television commercial.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

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