Women in Advertising

In this week’s AdWeek Magazine, there is a very interesting article that takes a look at an Oil of Olay (now just Olay) ad from the 1970s and compares it to an Olay ad from today to see the shift of how women are perceived in advertising.

It is extremely interesting and telling to see how in just 50 years the way women are utilized and viewed in advertising has changed. If you take a look at the first ad (below), you’ll notice a couple of things:

  • The only thing that is really showing is the woman’s face
  • She is not looking directly at the camera
  • She looks pretty shy and introverted
  • The copy is all about covering up and improving upon what a woman naturally has
  • The headline is talking about the woman
  • (this has nothing to do with women, but interesting to note none-the-less) There is SO much text!



Now take a look at the ad from today. While it is similar upon first glance (the woman is from the same angle, etc.), there are some stark differences:

  • More of the woman’s body is showing
  • She is looking directly at the camera
  • She is confident and proud looking
  • The headline is spoken by the woman
  • The copy (of which there is not much) is all about the woman taking control of the situation, and letting her innate natural beauty show instead of covering it up


What’s crazy to think about is how 50 years from now, AdWeek magazine (or whatever hologram magazine takes it’s place) will run another article comparing today’s Olay ad with an Olay ad of the future. I wonder what they will have to say?



Posted in Blog.