Advertising Cliches

John Camm, writing for the BBC, has compiled a long list of ways in which life as it's portrayed in advertisements differs from real life. For instance, in advertisements:
  • Men are obsessed with sex but will forego sex in order to watch football or drink beer.
  • Any act of male stupidity (e.g. walking across a clean floor in muddy boots, putting the dog in the dishwasher, etc.) will be met with a wry smile, not genuine annoyance/anger.
  • If you work for the emergency services, you are a better person than the general population.
  • Elderly relatives NEVER suffer from senile dementia.
  • Scandinavians are, without exception, blonde and beautiful.
  • Women have jobs they never do in real life, e.g. dockworker (who looks like a model).
  • Men are inherently lazy/slobbish; women are the reverse.
  • Chocolate, however, will cause women to immediately fall into the languor of the opium eater.


Posted on Mon Sep 05, 2005


This came about through a blip in the news about attitudes toward men in UK advertising. I imagine the US has the same sort of rubbish fired at it from the small screen.

Adverts have to get their message across to everybody to be truly effective, so anybody with an IQ higher than that of a staple gun is likely to find them intensely patronising.
Posted by Andy  in  UK  on  Tue Sep 06, 2005  at  03:26 AM
Oh also check this out:
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Tue Sep 06, 2005  at  04:14 AM
I've known some people who complain that all T.V. in general portrays men in a bad light. Stupid, lazy, or both...and getting no respect from the rest of the family while mom or wife saves the day using witty remarks and getting back talk from the kids.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Tue Sep 06, 2005  at  05:23 AM
Yes, in ads (and TV in general) the men are always stupid or obnoxious or both, and the women are always beautiful and smart. Clearly, advertisers assume that women do most of the shopping (except for beer).

However, I have to say that the one about Scandanavians is true, at least so far as I could determine during a fairly extensive tour of Scandanavia I made some years ago.
Posted by Big Gary in Dallas  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Tue Sep 06, 2005  at  11:02 AM
"17. Modern men own a cat. "

I'm not sure how modern I am, but I'm a man and I own a cat, so I'm going to call this one true as well.
Posted by Big Gary in Dallas  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Tue Sep 06, 2005  at  11:11 AM
2. Women are locked in a constant battle with their weight/body shape/hairstyle.

Well, as far as mmy experience with women goes, this one is true....
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Tue Sep 06, 2005  at  03:10 PM
By the time I read the article, I couldn't add these two rules.
*a three buck razor is made using the latest areospace technology
*if you use a blue fluid when advertising menstural products, men won't understand the product and therefore, will not get grossed out.
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Wed Sep 07, 2005  at  05:02 AM
Another one: A man's happiness is directly proportional to the length of his penis, regardless of whether he already has a partner or not.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Wed Sep 07, 2005  at  03:29 PM
Certain types of deodorant have to be sprayed in quantities approaching half the spray can, notably on the breast part of the torso, carefully avoiding your arm-pits. After which women will find you irresistible
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  02:54 AM
Square-jawed male models using three-blade razors never cut themselves while shaving, even though they handle the razor like they are trying to cut their throats with it.
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  02:58 AM
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.