Men and Advertising

The "Ideal" Man

The media tells men all sorts of false and negative messages about the "ideal" man. They portray this man to be tall, handsome, muscular, tough, aggressive, and respected. It may seem that women are the only ones who obsess over their appearance, but men too struggle with acceptance as well. The media has a negative effect on everyone.

Muscles and Power

  • From a young age, men are told they need to be strong and powerful.
  • A muscular man in an advertisement associates dominance and control with the product being sold
  • Sports and other magazines with a large male readership are filled with ads for muscle-enhancing products - often equating muscles with power.

Calvin Klein Concept 2013 Commercial -- Debuted During the Super Bowl

Caveman Mentality

  • Is the use of violent male icons or heroes from popular history to demonstrate masculinity in advertisements.
  • The message of these ads is that men have always been brutal and aggressive and that this is a part of their nature that they cannot control.


  • Represent an advertiser's use of military or sports figures to enhance the "manliness" of their products.
  • These ads have uniformed soldiers and players with weapons and gear sending out the message that violence is cool and acceptable.

This Is Not The Ideal Man