This PSA is part of a campaign by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. I am a big fan of the GDIGM in general, and this PSA definitely has some really great features, as well as some surprising ones. The choice to begin the ad with a blank white screen and then the sound of heels walking on the ground is particularly interesting. It definitely captures the viewer’s attention and tells him/her that this ad is going to feature a female. Typically the sound of walking heels is associated with women (not girls) who are either powerful or objects of affection- two conflicting images. I think this is actually quite fitting for the ad, because despite being more about girls than women, per se, the sound of heels could be associated with any type of woman of any profession, shape, color, background, etc. Following the footsteps, we see a young girl, and the remainder of the ad is presented with a young girl’s voice for the voice over. This also seems quite fitting, because it grounds the ad in the child’s perspective and elicits feelings of childhood and innocence, feelings that often stir people’s emotions, while remaining a PSA targeted to adults in the field of media. What I find most surprising about this ad is the use of the “cookie-cutter” style for the boys and girls presented. While each girl is shown to be slightly different, in terms of the shade of the skin tone (not color, because the colors are not skin tones), hair style, and accessories (such as glasses), they are all the same basic shape and are all wearing skirts/dresses like a stereotypical paper doll. For an ad that is communicating the need to show women and girls in media in all different lights, using this stylistically attractive, but seemingly contradictory style seems odd and out of place. Nonetheless, the PSA worked on me… I went to the GDIGM website to check out what they’re doing—you should too (and look, now they got ME to advertise for THEM too!).

  1. lrabin01 posted this