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A comparison of representations of ethnic minorities in print advertising

Extracts from this essay...


In this essay I will be analysing prints adverts to see if the ethnic minority included in the advert is represented negatively or positively. To do this I will start by looking at historic adverts ranging from the 1890's all the way to 1980. Then I will go on to look at three more recent adverts which are Pepto Bismol, United Colours of Benetton, and Green King and decide for myself how they're represented. In this section I will be analysing three adverts from the previous century. I will start off by looking at Bonds Soap (1890). The picture is of a little black boy with clowns clothing on. The ethnic minority in this advert is black people. The advert is saying that you 'can polish everything but manners' meaning that you can clean a black person but you will never make them polite. This is a negative representation. The next advert is Haven commodities. The picture is a group of native black people carrying the white people's items. The ethnic minority is black people. This advert is suggesting that black people should be used as slaves and they are happy about it. The ethnic minority in this advert is represented negatively.


I think the audience for the advert is people who have a stomach ailment; this advert appeals to the audience because the colour is very inviting and it tells you why you might need it. I believe that the advert is positive to the ethnic minority involved because it makes them out to be good people who like to work. There are some negative in the way that they are made out to be waiters which is not a very good job. The next advert I will be analysing is United Colours of Benetton, which is a clothing company known for their controversial adverts. There are two models included in the advert, a little white girl and a little black boy; the ethnic minority in this advert is black people. The models are aged 2-3 years old. The little girl has blond hair with angelic girls and rosy cheeks to make her look innocent and cute, whereas the boy has his hair pointed up into two horns which make him evil and like the devils child; this is a negative representation because it's saying that the white girl is more innocent than the boy adding to the stereotype that people used to have of black people, this then makes us question racial prejudice and stereotyping in society so it is actually negative.


The text is in bold and Sans Serif so it stands out and is easy to read. The text is in white and white connotes decorum; although this is a positive representation because white is good and pure but what is said is rude and ungrateful. I think that the audience for this advert is middle aged men who like sport. The advert will appeal to the audience because it talks about the beer being high-quality and then there is the sense of sport because the model is wearing a cricketing outfit. I believe that the representation of Indians in this particular advert is negative because it is suggesting that they all think that they are superior to other races. My conclusion is that, through time the representations of ethnic minorities have changed but it has taken a century for them to do so. In the three more recent adverts I analysed there were aspects that were negative but mostly they were positive. The only advert that could have been seen as negative is the Greene King advert. That is because the model was shown to be quite stuck-up and seemed that he was superior. However this is nothing like the adverts and the representations that can be found in adverts like the 1890 advert for Bond's Soap.

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