Storm in a D cup

Date: January 1, 1970
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The billboard is an advert for Pacific cigarettes. It shows a female in a low cut gown lying on the ground with a teacup next to her. The caption reads, ‘Storm in a D cup.’ The product being advertised is also shown.

This advertisement may be used to:
1. Demonstrate blatant stereotypes and how advertising exploits women’s physical beauty to sell products not related to the female body or her sexuality.
Trainer’s notes
In the Mirror on the Media Advertising research conducted by GL male audience did not see anything wrong with the woman posing for the advert. To them it was just a way of attracting the target market. The female audience had reservations about the advert relating to the product and the caption. They did not see the relationship.
In this advert the female model is clearly presented as a sexual object as what she is wearing and the teacup in no way relate to the product. The caption is more related to advertising women’s underwear (D cup is used in relation to underwear) rather than cigarettes. This advert is misleading and all it seems to have accomplished is advertising the model. It centres on making allusion to women’s body parts as opposed to the product.
Discussion Questions
1. How else the advert could have been done?
2. What alternative message could have been used to capture the attention of the audience?
3. Why do advertisers use women’s physical beauty to sell products ? Do you think it works as a marketing strategy?
Training exercises
1. Print the advert. At the beginning of the session ask partcipants look at the advert very briefly (i.e. 5 seconds, the time a car generally would take to pass a billboard) – are people able to identify what the advert is about?
2. Review billboards or adverts in newspapers/ magazines. How many advertisments feature male or female bodies for unrelated products?
Additional training resources
Picture our Lives, Gender and Images in Southern Africa, Chapter three: Sex, Gender and Stereotypes
Related GL Commentaries

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