Skyy Vodka Ad Critique

In the magazine advertisement for Skyy Vodka, women are sexually objectified in order to appeal to both male and female clientele.  In this advertisement, the sexual interaction between the man and woman is extremely pronounced, as the man stands with his legs separated over the half-naked woman while holding Skyy Vodka in one hand and two martini glasses in the other.  The woman’s body position is relaxed, while the man’s stance is aggressive and is an indication of male domination.  Berger in “From Ways of Seeing” claims “how a woman appears to a man can determine how she will be treated” (Berger 37).  He further claims that every action of a woman can suggest how she wishes to be treated.   This ad suggests that this beautiful, big-breasted, blonde, ideal woman is sexually submissive and wants to be sexually submissive when someone drinks this product.  This woman’s presence in the ad “regulates what is and is not ‘permissible’” (37), which further reinforces her “desire” for sex.  The faceless man in the advertisement allows any man to envision himself in this situation, which contributes to the male gaze and universality of this advertisement.  This woman is depicted as being happy and confident, due to her physical beauty and placement on a beach; this advertisement creates the illusion that women can also have power over men through their sex appeal, which is why Skyy vodka targets all men and most women.  Skyy Vodka ads take advantage of the vulnerability in the public sphere – they sell the concept that any man can have the power to control a woman sexually, and that women can attain sex appeal and confidence (even if they are portrayed as sexual objects).  If we drink their product, our sexually motivated desires will be fulfilled.

Works Cited:

Jones, Amelia, ed.  The Feminine and Visual Culture Reader.  New York: Routledge, 2003.

Link to advertisement (picture):

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