Advertising and Marketing

Content type
Collection
Collage with Three Women in Underwear; Background of Squares overlayed with underwear

Commercial Femininity: A Jewish Reckoning with Victoria's Secret's Legacy

Goldi Lieberperson

Growing up, Victoria's Secret models represented my default (and only) view of femininity and what it means to be an adult woman.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Feminist Force Awakens

Gabrielle Cantor

On December 17, I joined millions of people around the world in a line. Now this was no ordinary line. In front of me stood Chewbacca, and behind me several Stormtroopers waited patiently. This was the line to see the latest and possibly greatest movie in the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens. That evening, I joined fans both young and old in delighting in the marvels of another world. I lost myself in the journey of Rey and Finn, cheering for their victories and crying at their defeats.

Woman With Tape Measure

A Tale Of Two Stores

Abby Richmond

Brandy’s clothes are appealing to girls like me who prefer a simple look. However, there’s one important thing that separates Brandy from the other clothing chains for teenage girls—their one-size policy. Yes, all of Brandy Melville’s clothes are only available in one, miniature, singular size. One size fits most is the company’s complacent statement regarding their sizing. 

Kid Watches Television

Life Beyond the Screen

Rachel Landau

With the newly popular theme of including feminist ideals in advertising—such as Pantene’s campaign against apologizing—I can’t help but express my gratitude. It’s nice of these companies to give a brief hint at achieving societal equality.

Woman Jogging

Jiggling Toward Inclusivity

Maya Sinclair

This Girl Can is a nonprofit based in the UK that “is here to inspire women to wiggle, jiggle, move and prove that judgment is a barrier that can be overcome.” In their main video campaign, women of all races, shapes, and ability levels are featured exercising and enjoying themselves. They are proud of who they are and are proud of their active lifestyles.

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Femvertising And What It Says About Us

Yana Kozukhin

When we see ad campaigns that preach messages about body positivity, girl power, or defying stereotypes, it’s important to take them with a grain of salt.

Ilana Goldberg Puts on Lipstick

Ad Conscious and Self-Conscious

Ilana Goldberg

Dove tells me I am beautiful as I am. Pantene exposes the double standard between men and women. Always reminds me that “like a girl” should never be an insult. 

Goldie Blox Advertisement

Size Zero, Flawless Skin

Eliana Melmed

I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a woman with a pimple on the cover of a magazine. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a woman with small breasts or a big stomach in an advertisement. The only time I’ve ever seen a woman in an ad with even slightly dry skin is in a “before” image.

Bars of Soap Image

Soap: The Slippery Slope

Ellie Kahn

“The greatest skin care discovery of all time!” boasts the 1957 black and white commercial, showing a still of the New York skyline. The camera then pans up to show a flock of white doves flying away, leaving a giant white Dove soap bar to fill the screen. The crackling voice explains the benefits of using a Dove bar instead of another soap product, demonstrating this by having a beautiful blonde young woman wash each side of her face with a different product.

Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg sparked debate and controversy over women’s opportunities and hurdles in the workforce with her first book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

Marcy Syms

Marcy Syms became one of the youngest female presidents of a New York Stock Exchange-traded company when her family’s business, Syms Corp., went public in 1983.

Bette Midler owns her own voice

October 31, 1989

US Court of Appeals says Bette Midler's voice is distinctive.

Leaning In With Sheryl Sandberg

Jane Eisner

Editorial in the Forward published online March 6, 2013

It’s so tempting to deride Sheryl Sandberg for her new, self-appointed role as the leader of a social movement to bring more gender equality to the workplace.

She must be one of the richest, most successful working mothers on the planet, and in her new book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” her attempts to identify with ordinary working moms seem comical at times.

To illustrate that she, too, has found herself in unexpected situations as a parent, she describes a time when she discovered her children had head lice. What parent can’t relate? Except that Sandberg was on her way to a Silicon Valley business conference. On a corporate jet. Owned by the CEO of eBay.

Nah.

Couple and their shadows holding hands photo

Victoria's Secret, Shabbos Walks, and Interrogating Rape Cultures

Mimi Arbeit

I love guerilla feminism. And I love that this group of feminists from Baltimore used online guerilla feminism to critique Victoria's Secret and promote consent. And I’m not the only one who loves this stuff! I love the celebration of consent. I love the celebration of bodies. I love the way in which the campaign directly connects the concept of consent to our bodies—by putting it on underwear—showing that to touch my body, you need my consent.

Pink Cupcakes

Why I'm Resistant To All Things Pink In October

Judith Rosenbaum

Dr. Judith Rosenbaum, Director of Public History at the Jewish Women's Archive and lead developer of Living the Legacy educational materials, first wrote this piece for Role/Reboot. There you can read the piece in its entirety.

Male and Female Deodorant: A comparative study

Gabrielle Orcha

I was watching the Daily Show online over the weekend and I was fascinated with the commercials, two in particular, which streamed almost back to back.

Be Hungry, Etta Eats the World

Be Hungry

Gabrielle Orcha

There is an advertisement that I pass when biking to work.

Kosher Camera

pJewishMisanthropy announces "Kosher Camera" that erases women in real time

Leah Berkenwald

Yesterday eJewish Philanthropy released a special, satirical Purim edition of their usual newsletter called pJewishMisanthropy. The whole thing is absolutely hilarious--at least it should be to any of us working in the Jewish communal world who read often-vague articles about the future of "peoplehood," "Jewish innovation," "leadership," and "engagement" in the ever-changing Jewish American/Israeli landscape. Still, one story in particular caught my attention.

Jewpiter Photoshop

Ultra-Orthodox photoshop of horrors: Round 2

Leah Berkenwald

In May, the Hasidic Jewish newspaper, Der Tzitung, made a lot of people angry by photoshopping Hillary Clinton out of a photo in the name of tzniut, or modesty. Within days, the incident spawned a fabulous internet meme where people photoshopped women out of iconic images. The point that photoshop should not be used to erase or alter women in images as to rewrite history or reality was made ... or so we thought.

Tillie Lewis: More than just about tomatoes

Katherine Romanow

One of the ingredients that is a staple in my kitchen cupboard is canned tomatoes. I will almost always have a can or two around in case I decide I want to make a quick tomato sauce or a pizza, and I especially rely on them throughout the majority of the year when local tomatoes are unavailable. Yet I recently realized that throughout the process of buying, using and consuming these tomatoes, I never stopped to think about their history and how they came to be the product we know today.

UJA misses the mark with its 2011 campaign

Leora Jackson

Two threads on my Facebook news feed have gotten me thinking about the impact of advertising in the last couple of days. The first is this video, a really beautiful trailer for a Seattle-based group that educates about gender and sexuality. The trailer features a diverse group of young people talking about what we should be teaching when we teach gender and sexuality in schools. It challenges assumptions, makes connections between issues of identity and daily life, and charges viewers with the responsibility to take action.

Remembering Sylvia Schur, a pioneer who transcended the kitchen

Leah Berkenwald

Thanks to Julie & Julia, foodies are abuzz about Julia Child.  Icon though she is, the story of a different sort of chef caught my attention this week.  Sylvia Schur passed away at age 92 last week.  Her obituary in the New York Times captivated me as I realized that this woman was no ordinary chef. 

Sylvia Schur was not a stereotypical "Betty Crocker," though she did create recipes for the company.  She did not wear pearls and an apron and stand in a TV studio stirring cake batter. Instead, she pioneered the modern food industry - creating the now classic recipes you see on the back of the box, problem solving with the heads of Ocean Spray, editing magazines, running a successful consulting company, and developing convenience foods for women on the go.  Sylvia Schur was a creative champion of modern working women who refused to spend their days in the kitchen.

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