Alexander Lind · @Zeweig

20th Jun 2014 from TwitLonger

Objectifying in advertising (SteelSeries)

Elements in the add:
Dendi (famous profile)
Beautiful women, lightly dressed (temptation)
Headsets from the brand (accessories)

What happens:
Dendi watches women dance with the headsets on them, connecting to the "temptation" part of the add, whereas one would think that he is enjoying the sight of sexually attractive females.

He then approaches one of the women and takes the headset from her head and goofs away, using the unclear message "Pick One" from the title in another way than the viewer initially might have thought.

The add uses the famous profile and is showing his "fun side", and does use excessive showing of the women as they are only wearing underwear, which might be considered too nude and provocative.

The questions at hand:
What is the intent of the add?
Is the lack of clothing excessive? If so, to what degree?
Is it objectifying?

The intent of the add is to use the unclear message of "pick one" to make the viewer think that Dendi could just pick a woman, who is in the focus, but he will actually pick the headset because it is supposed to be just that amazing, instead of trying to connect with the woman wearing it (vague, but might also connect to "gaming over *insert gender of interest*").

The lack of clothing can surely be seen as excessive, but it is worth pointing out that the more attractive the girl is according to the average viewer, the more power the "joke" or "aha-moment" will have, and since less clothes is connected to a more intimate connection, many would consider a lightly dressed woman to be highly attractive physically as the physical features are showed more clearly. The degree of how excessive this is depends on the individual and is in my own opinion slightly excessive and should have more clothes, but still showing of features.

Is it objectifying?
"In social philosophy, objectification means treating a person as a thing, without regard to their dignity"

Here, there will be a divided opinion, whereas some will consider it to be objectifying while others won't.

How so?

What occurs are a few things, first and foremost - the level of attraction to the individual(s) in question, as if the viewer is attracted to him/her, there will be more of a desire than a questioning, therefore there will be split opinions. Disregarding that, we come to one of the major point in equality and humanitarian debates - the arguments that have a counter based on subjective association.

What is this? This is a prime example: Take the women in question. For many of the women commenting, it is clear objectifying as the women are seen as a sex symbol, and are worth nothing more than their sexual appeal to the audience. For others however, the women can be people that are "way out of their league", and that they believe are amazing with their confidence and extremely good looks. With this view, it is not about a sexual objectification that removes the dignity of the women, but instead the raising of the profile (Dendi in this case), as this person has gotten interest from such beautiful women because of his various attributes (looks, status, currency, situation and more come into play), making the viewer look up to the person in question rather than looking down on the women in the video.

Is it objectifying? It is if you consider the women to be empty vessels of sexuality, and not if you consider them to be people with great physical attributes. Therefore the question of whether it is objectifying lands in the hands of the viewer rather than the video as it is open to interpretation.

Does that mean that nothing can be objectifying? No, because here comes the second part of it: Is the intent at any point to degrade the individual(s), make this/these person/people into objects of any kind of desire based without regard to person or to use the person as a mean to convey objectifying or a similar point?

The intent of this add was, as previously stated, to sell headsets by using the unclear message of "pick one", making the headset look more attractive to the profile (once again, Dendi) than the obviously very beautiful woman (to average person's standards) and by that heighten the products appeal to target audience.

As the question of if it is objectifying is subjective per viewer and the intent not seemingly being objectifying, there is a strong lack of evidence to the add actively trying to objectify the women in the add, who both are having fun and are very outgoing, which only strengthens the appearance, rather than undermining it. There are grounds for questioning the amount of clothing in the add, but other from that, it gets subjective very quickly as intent is not necessarily based on objectifying.

Once again - "In social philosophy, objectification means treating a person as a thing, without regard to their dignity". The add does not objectively stand for this, but there are slight tendencies which does make for subjective interpretations as such.

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