Let’s get the party started, ZNBC-TV

Date: January 1, 1970
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Two young women are shown dancing at a night club, a husband dancing in a kitchen with his wife, who is shown wearing an apron and holding a cooking stick. This is followed by a picture of a young man dancing beside his car, dressed in a suit and a businessman dancing behind his office desk.

This article may be used to:
1. Show how advertising reinforces the stereotyping of women in domestic or sexual roles and men as achievers, professionals and successful business executives.
Trainer’s notes
The advert shows several different kinds of people enjoying MTN’s Y’ello Groove. At first glance the advert appears to show a diversity of people from many walks of life, from youth to business executives to homemakers. However, upon closer analysis subtle gender stereotypes appear.
The first scene in the nightclub show a group of young women dressed in sexy club gear. A gender analysis of this scene may argue that MTN is using sexualized images of young women to sell their product. The second scene shows a wife and husband dancing at home. The wife is holding cooking stick and wearing an apron. She appears to be doing all the cooking, while he is just there. This reinforces the idea that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, and that men do not help out in the domestic sphere. The third scene shows a well-dressed man talking on his phone beside a new-looking car, and the fourth scene a businessman dancing behind his desk. Both these images reinforce the idea that women do not have a place in business, nor do they acquire wealth. Read as a whole, the advert situates women in the stereotypical position of sexual being and housewife, and men in the equally stereotypical position of breadwinner and business professional. While it does portray a wide range of the population, and has equal numbers of women to men, the advert also feeds current societal perceptions and attitudes around gender roles and behaviours.
Discussion Questions:
1. Do you think there is anything wrong with this ad? Why or why not? Do these images appear stereotypical  to you?
2. Upon seeing this ad for the first time, do you notice the stereotypes? What are your first impressions of the ad? Why do you think the stereotypical images appear so subtle or normal?
Training exercises:
1. Ask the participants break into four groups and come up with four new scenes of people enjoying MTN’s services. Have them perform their new scenes and explain the choices they made. Allow the other groups to analyse their work. If you wish, have each group make changes to their adverts based on the comments they received, write up their advert with a short letter to MTN, and mail them to the advertising department.
2.  Show the advert once. Ask the participants to describe what they see. Show it a second time, asking the participants to pay particular attention to what the men are doing versus what the women are doing. Use this as a lead-in exercise to a discussion on gender stereotypes.

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