Calvin Klein X Marks the Spot

You would expect a men’s underwear advertisement to attract male viewers, describing what makes that specific underwear line attractive to buyers. However, the Calvin Klein X Marks the Spot commercial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WMINL4_Xks) uses a ridiculous amount of curse words and oiled up men to attract buyers but the question is who is the target audience. It is clear that men would be put off with the idea of purchasing this brand of underwear coming from a commercial that asks the viewers “Would you like to see my *bleep*?”. I am assuming that heterosexual men would not consider the question and insulted by the dehumanizing men and their bodies. Therefore, homosexual men and women are left, being be more inclined to purchase this product. As Jean Kilbourne states: “The primary purpose of the mass media is to sell audiences to advertisers. We are the products.” (Kilbourne, 34). This exemplifies the idea that the use of generally attractive almost-naked men stating that everyone is interested in that brand of underwear through 14 curse words in a 45 second commercial is not exactly selling the underwear, but attracting a different audience. In her film “Killing Us Softly 4”, she emphasizes that the media uses the ideal image of beauty to play to people’s anxieties, which in turn is beneficial for the producers. Bordo similarly states “Images of the “microcosm”-the physical body-may symbolically reproduce central vulnerabilities and anxieties of the “macrocosm”-the social body” (Bordo, 186). These vulnerabilities that are brought about in the video may serve to allow women to move past the insulting vocabulary and purchase the items even though the product is not for women themselves.

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