Social media users have revived a Doritos commercial showing how a woman is harassed because her partner shared an intimate video online. The material, which dates from 2009, concludes with the slogan of the campaign: “Rola lo bien”.
Internet users shared videos through platforms such as TikTok in which, in addition to showing their discontent with the material, they question the fact that these types of messages, which they classify as “macho and sexist”, were broadcast on open television. just 13 years ago.
Sexist advertising in Mexico
The one for Doritos is not the only commercial of the type released for that year. Sprite had the campaign “Things as they are”. In one of its ads, entitled “Your friend makes you want”, it is stated that friendships between men and women cannot exist because they already have friends and their only goal is with someone from the opposite gender is to concretize a sexual relationship.
A couple of years later, Snickers released a series of commercials noting that when a man was hungry, he would go “babe.” These were even starred by famous Mexicans like Anahí and Lucía Méndez.
The list of examples of commercials that launched messages of this style can go on, but the question is whether in the last decade something has changed significantly from those who create the advertising.
To respond, Expansión consulted Camila Trombert Alcoholado, general director of the advertising agency with a gender perspective Guoman, as well as co-founder of Cruces x Rosas, a civil association against gender violence, director of Amoramente and member of DoingGud.
Breaking stereotypes is the first step
According to the National Institute for Women (Inmujeres), throughout its history, the media have reproduced stereotypes of the feminine and the masculine by broadcasting content with sexist representations, thereby strengthening inequities between women and men.
“This is how the media continue to promote traditional roles; for example, in magazines and advertising, the image of women as sexual objects is predominant and despite the intention of presenting them developing their professional skills, they continue to be shown more concerned about her physical appearance than her intellectual one”, details the organism.
Trombert Alcoholado considers that these types of messages are the result of a macho industry:
“Socially, the system has put us (women) at a disadvantage and that obvious disadvantage has also generated a lot of frustration in men, a lot of demand, a lot of responsibility in them and that is what we know as ‘toxic masculinity,'” she says.
The expert says that the way to change these patterns requires, as a first step, “breaking the stereotypes that men and women have historically carried”. For this, he considers it crucial to talk about the gender gap and the biases that exist in the advertising area.
“Feminism as a movement has many variants, in communication -which is the area that concerns us- it is how we stop promoting negative stereotypes and begin to see gender as a sociocultural construct where pink is not more liked by girls and blue to children, but there has been a communication and a business theme that promotes dolls in one space and cars in another”.
Given this, he says, one of the main challenges that advertisers face is the recognition of themselves as abusers. “When undertaking advertising campaigns, men and women may find that in the past they made sexist jokes or that they promoted ‘toxic masculinities’. However, this revelation is very strong, very intimate, but it is necessary for it to truly be understood. generate changes,” he details.
“If those who create the campaigns do not see the difference – and there are many who do not – we will never change it,” he adds.
Inmujeres points out that the media have the capacity to publicize the social transformations that are taking place in terms of gender equity, which can contribute to the population having greater acceptance of these changes, since “the media are not only conceived as as agents that generate stereotypes, but also as promoters of diversity, multiculturalism and, above all, of change that has to do with gender equity”.
Does the gender perspective in advertising evolve?
The specialist considers that the discourses in the world of advertising have indeed changed, she attributes part of it to sociocultural movements, and although messages such as Doritos would not be replicated today, according to Trombert, the agencies still “do not give their arm twisted and they continue to be very patriarchal”.
“I think progress is there, but it’s slow. We need the men in the industry to say ‘let’s see, show me what I don’t know’, it would be wonderful if it happened. That they don’t have to lead all the conversations, or feign feminism, but are interested in deconstruction, there I think it’s a little slower”.
One more factor in terms of creating more conscious messages, she points out, is understanding that it is not necessary for a campaign to be directed at women for it to be done with a gender perspective.
Returning to the example of Doritos, today to think of the reproduction of these materials in the media seems unimaginable; They are even an apology for crime when considering that there is already legislation such as the Olimpia Law, promoted by Olimpia Coral Melo, who experienced a scenario similar to the one that arises in the commercial when an intimate video in which she appeared was broadcast on the internet without her consent. .
In the event that something like this were to happen today, this set of reforms –mainly to the criminal codes of each entity– establish sanctions such as economic fines or prison sentences for those who disseminate this type of content online.
Conscious brands require equal consumers
“Advertising, as well as consumers, are constantly changing.” The next topic on the agenda will not be the gender perspective, but climate change, considers Trombert.
“Advertising will always find a fashionable topic to talk about and in a short time it will not be the gender issue, but the climate crisis. I would like that while feminism is still in fashion, all possible deconstructions are made, all efforts so that the next cause -which is the planet- does not blur what we have already learned about gender. Because yes, the gender perspective is partly a social issue and partly a fashion “.
Trombert explains that although brands usually work one step ahead by analyzing the behaviors and thoughts of their consumers, they can take action to transform the industry, but this requires self-analysis.
“If I am criticizing machismo in an advertising campaign but in my intimate life I continue to believe that ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ makes me be more of a woman or more of a man, I would leave home. Maybe you are a consumer of mass and the mass is super harmful, because it consumes a lot of plastic, throws away the garbage, does not recycle, it is sexist; that is the mass, it is the bulk of the population. So, becoming a quality consumer is already a tremendous contribution.”
Other simple actions that it shares are reporting, unfollowing, putting your point of view, giving yourself the time to filter on social networks and making adjustments on the platforms to see only what is truly relevant to you.