Kellogs cornflakes TV

Date: January 1, 1970
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Advert is selling Kellogg’s cornflakes as an essential healthy start to the day. Advert shows a woman in the kitchen fixing the cornflakes and serving her boy child and husband who are seated at the table. Afterwards the boy children and men are playing outside. The woman says I have to ensure that my family eats healthily.

This video clip may be used to:
1. Demonstrate subtle stereotypes.
2. Show that although society is evolving we are often more comfortable with “the way things are” than with challenging stereotypes.
Trainer’s notes
In the Mirror on the Media Advertising research conducted by GL women felt that the advert promotes gender stereotyping in that it seems to be saying a woman’s place is in the kitchen preparing food for her family. It is her duty to make sure that everyone is well taken care of and eats healthily.  Some male participants felt that the advert portrays women as second class citizens always at other people’s service. One male participant felt that the advert depicts family cohesion with different members of the family having distinct roles. Another felt that it was unfair to show a man playing outside while the woman prepares food. They were of the opinion that the advert could have made a powerful point by showing the man fixing the cornflakes. Both groups agreed that men are now more actively involved in managing the general welfare of the family. Men especially said that there are now more men cooking and doing household chores and that this should be reflected.
Discussion Questions
1. What  is the advert saying about men and women and their roles in the home?
2. What does it say about men that the men at the breakfast table is barely in the frame ?
3. How could this advertisement been done differently ?
4. How would the advert have been interpreted if a man had been shown preparing cornflakes in the kitchen? Or if the man and women were standing preparing the meal together, or seated eating together ?
Training exercises:
1. List all of the characteristics of the people shown in the advert. Women, man at breakfast table, boy children, older men playing outside. How does this compare with what research shows about how men and women are portrayed ? Read commentaries below for reference.
2. Watch Ackerman’s TV (below) Compare the gender roles in both advertisements.
Additional training resources
Picture our Lives: Gender and Images in Southern Africa, Chapter three, p32, Archetype, or Stereotype?
This section is very relevant to subtle stereotypes that reinforce the way things are and that we are often more comfortable with. Are these archetypes or stereotypes? When does an archetype become a stereotype? What is the effect of this?
Related GL Commentaries

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