Friday, July 20, 2007

French commercials

With everyone posting commercials and TV parodies, I decided I would utilize the magic of Youtube to bring you a smattering of French commericals. I lived in France for six months, and the commercials took a bit of getting used to. They are quite different from the commercials in the US. Sex isn't as taboo as it is in the US in general and commercials are for different things.

The treatment of women in French commercials isn't much different than the US though. Gender roles are still reinforced and the the women are still often pictured as mothers, sex objects or wives. On to the commercials!

Some of these don't have subtitles, so I will put the translation here.

The first one is a French condom commercial. What the boy says throughout, roughly translated is "Mama says I can/I could" the end "Oui=Yes"

I think the commercial is kind of funny. I didn't find it particularly negative in portraying anyone, but I enjoy how the commercial doesn't treat sex as anything unusual or negative, and also, even though portrayed in a humourous manner, the woman is receiving pleasure and the married couple is having sex (unlike certain commericals or ads that insinuate once you become married or attached all sex dries up).

This next commercial is also for condoms...and has subtitles...

This one, I find hilarious. To portray what could be the consequences of sex in such a concrete manner is a good idea I think, but what is particularly positive for me at least, is that it is the male in the relationship portrayed as dealing with it. Too often, the male is removed from the equation and the consequences fall on the woman. Society even today still has a sort of stigma for unwed mothers, especially younger ones. This commercial does a good job of showing that it won't just affect the mother! I found it refreshing that it's a father depicted as dealing with his child instead of the usual female being the mother.

This following one I decided to include. It's been banned in both France and other European countries...which makes you wonder why???

This one (for mobile phones) comments on sexual relations and (I think) personal responsibility. It does have a bit of sexual content if you are worried about watching it certain places (no nudity but shirts off)

That's it for French commercials. If you would like to see more, Youtube is the place to do it.

I think that French commercials are fairly similar to American commercials in every aspect including the portrayal of gender (the typical French commercial I didn't put on here, I figured the interesting ones would be better), with the exception of the treatment of sex.

Sex on TV, including commercials, while not as rampant as some people would have you to believe (most have heard the rumours of pornography on in the middle of the day in Europe), is a lot less taboo. My personal take on this is that by making it okay to talk about it even in commercials, couples and society in general won't hesitate to discuss sex, including sexual health and protection. I think it's a positive step, but others may differ in their viewpoint.

See You in Azeroth!


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