Posted on February 1, 2015, by Monika Haebich
Often in the advertising industry, menswear is portrayed in the context of extreme, “macho” masculinity: Shirtless, tanned, oiled and built men frequently pose in advertisements, and male models are often featured in ways that confirm a view of masculinity as the equation to and promotion of danger, emotional stability and control, violence, and hypersexuality. Just as female audiences can be alienated by unrealistic (and often sexist) portrayals of the female ideal, male consumers are often likewise left feeling inadequate in relation to the advertising industry’s portrayal of extreme hypermasculinity.
Rather than portray the idealized myth of traditional masculinity within my advertisements, I chose to instead use two models that convey masculinity in a more realistic manner. The two men are meant to look aspirational without looking alienating to match my brand’s persona, which is meant to be inviting and classic with a bit of edge.
I chose to photograph the two models in similar positions and outfits to convey a consistent brand image. Like the clothing, the ads are minimal and classic, and I hoped to convey a sense of everyday quality for the everyday man. The name of the brand is likewise simple and memorable, and I used my last name (rather than my first) as it is more unique, more memorable (for its pun) and more masculine.
In the mind of the consumer, perception is truth. For this reason, it was great to see how photographs and branding can influence a consumer’s perception of reality.
About The Author: Monika Haebich is a senior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2015.