27 Responses to “Smart Phones, Dumb Ads: Men, Women, and Social Media”

  1. Jacqueline says:

    Interesting analysis and observations Craig, I have also been perplexed by similar mobile phone ads. Seeing how these ads air during NFL games, a time slot still dedicated to masculine advertising, I wonder if these ads weren’t consciously and deliberately masculine. If cell phones are seen as social and therefore increasingly gendered as feminine or “soft” technologies, do you think Blackberry and Motorola deliberately overemphasized the masculinity of the phones and the ads to reassure men that technology is still “their domain” and that it’s “ok” to want/need/desire these gadgets? In other words, are the ads a reaction to and compensation for the feminization of social technologies such as cell phones? It’d be interesting to compare the ads to other cell phone ads which air during family television programs or women’s programming. To answer your question, I think they are dated and out of sync (especially because NFL audiences are comprised of 40% females according to some reports), but they are deliberately outdated because they are hoping to reclaim both the technological domain and the sports world as inherently masculine. Acknowledging the fact that women watch sports and prefer social aspects of the cell phone would present an obvious threat to the perceived masculinity within these domains.

    • S. Craig Watkins says:

      Hi Jacqueline:

      Your observations are quite astute and say a lot about how undervalued women viewers are during one of the few “entertainment franchises”, the National Football League, that reaches a sizable audience in the land of network TV these days.

      From what I understand the marketing of the Droid to men is deliberate and calculated…a direct challenge to the success of the iPhone. The Droid is being positioned as “functional” and “productive” vs. “sleek” and “cool.” Given that the integrated marketing campaign is aimed at men in their twenties and thirties–what has long been regarded as the “early adopter” segment–the use of masculine images is not coincidental. You are exactly right, the ads are a response to the perceived “feminine cool” of gadgets like the iPhone.

      But these type of ads are completely disconnected from what is happening in the real world and fail to recognize the influence of women in the social media sphere.

  2. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it.

  3. MP3 Hunter says:

    well, I believe there is no use applying to gender when discussing the usage of smartphones. in my opinion it depends entirely on the occupation: if you are a not working man or a business woman, it depends whether you’ll use phones or not.

  4. You truly make it appear so effortless along with your presentation but I find this theme to get seriously anything which I feel I’d hardly ever realize. It appears as well complicated and really broad for me. I am seeking ahead on your following submit, I’ll make an effort to get the hang of it!

    • S. Craig Watkins says:

      I was addressing the degree to which these adds imagine smart phones and their functionality as primarily a male driven experience.
      The reference to Droid here as a powerful machine misses the human element and adoption of smart phones. Specifically, how would
      ads like these appeal to women who are smart phone users and often see their functionality as a way to navigate what ethnographer
      Arlie Russell Hochschild calls the “second shift,” that is, managing the workplace and domestic sphere.

      Hope this helps.

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