Kellogg's Pep Vitamins: Advertisements in Modern Society

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The advertisement is for Kellogg’s Pep cereal. At first glance all one sees is a man and woman who seem to be husband and wife. The way the couple is dressed says something about the era this advertisement was made. As well as the gender roles made prevalent. The advertisement is a visual of a man dressed in a suit coming home to his wife telling her “So the harder a wife works, the cuter she looks!”. There is also a second dialogue between this man and his wife where the man says: “Gosh, honey, you seem to thrive on cooking, cleaning and dusting and I’m all tuckered out by closing time. What’s the answer?”. “Vitamins, darling! I always get my vitamins.” The woman says. The Kellogg’s Pep advertisement conveys an ideal lifestyle in the 1930’s, but now it would be considered an offensive advertisement; while the advertisement was released in the 1930’s and aimed towards women, now the advertisement would seem sexist because of the growth of gender equality.

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The 1930’s were the start of the Great Depression, after the stock market crash in 1929, so with fewer jobs available they were mostly reserved for men to be able to support their families. Because of the Great Depression married women could not have jobs, because it was disrespectful to the men trying to provide for their families. Meanwhile, single women could only have low paying jobs. The culture was less focused on equality and encouraged women to take on domestic roles during the economic depression. This lifestyle is portrayed perfectly in this advertisement where the man is wearing a suit while the women is in a dress and heels holding a duster. Women were the minority in the sense of having less opportunities and privileges than men. This advertisement now portrays sexism towards women and a step in the wrong direction from the advancements women have made since the 1930’s like equal pay and criminalizing rape within marriage.

This Kellogg’s Pep cereal advertisement is aimed towards women. The Kellogg’s pep Cereal advertisement is selling a dreamy lifestyle to women in the 1930’s. In the lower right-hand corner of this advertisement the handsome, well-dressed man is holding the women’s chin seductively while the women wearing the apron is smiling and glancing up at him. It portrays a message that women who eat Kellogg’s Pep cereal will be happily married while romanticizing a life where women are housewives and men are the hard-working providers. Women’s value in the 1930’s was not only based upon beauty but on how well they were able to be a wife and maintain a home. This advertisement perfectly depicts a beautiful woman with enough energy to do all the housework which would make her more desired by men. Wives in the 1930’s dressed this way to please their husbands’ eye. It glamorized a type of lifestyle that would be socially acceptable in the 1930’s.

The brand Kellogg’s was/is a well-trusted company. The Kellogg’s brand was one of the first to infuse vitamins into their cereals in the 1930’s. Kellogg’s was competing alongside General Mill’s Wheaties to release a nutritious cereal. The definition of the word pep is “energy and high spirits”. In the Kellogg’s Pep cereal advertisement, the woman is telling her husband “Remember what the doctor told you-you can’t have pep without vitamins?”. The use of the word pep in this dialogue gives a logical approach. If one wants pep, they should eat Kellogg’s Pep cereal. It also resembles the well-known saying “Pep in your step”. The woman will have enough pep to fulfill her household duties and have energy left over for her husband when he gets back from work.

Advertisements are created by current society and what is most likely attract buyers. Advertisements always use beauty to attract woman to certain products, just like this advertisement tries to beautify woman in the 1930’s. This advertisement would not be socially acceptable now. The 1930’s was a gender role based era, which are no longer as prevalent. The lifestyle portrayed in this Kellogg’s Pep cereal advertisement is one that would no longer be successful. Although sexism is being utilized in advertisements, it is being used in a way that would be socially acceptable in 2018.

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