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Most Americans have seen the popular Old Spice commercials advertised on TV, especially the “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” ad. This is a perfect example of hegemonic symbolism. Throughout the commercial are many insinuations on what a ‘real man’ should be. Right at the beginning, Isaiah Mustafa is shown just out of the shower with a towel around his waist; displaying his sculpted and muscular body that influences the gesture that a man should be large and very much in shape.
He immediately gets to the point by stating that a man wearing ‘lady scented body wash’could smell like a real man like himself by switching to Old Spice body wash. Being that the ad is a mere 32 seconds, it moves rather quickly.
The next scene instantly takes the viewer to Isaiah on a boat- with him stating the obvious, “You’re on a boat with the man your man could smell like.” The commercial then proceeds to go through motions of an oyster in his hand that transforms into diamonds, “it’s an oyster with two tickets to that thing you love- look again, the tickets are now diamonds! Anything’s possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady.
” The target audience appears to be women, by how Isaiah greets with “Hello, ladies.” The ad tries to get across that a real man is one that dresses nicely, is wealthy enough to provide a boat, tickets to shows, and diamonds. This commercial also stereotypes what women want in a man.
Not all women believe that these actions/traits are what make a ‘real man’. Society has made this a sort of norm and a hegemonic symbol.
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