Ruimel Graham – March 24th

This Dove commercial is one of most iconic ad about inner beauty. The ad is about how people view others than how they view themselves. The message is too uplift people about their self beauty. The sketch artist drew what the woman think of themselves then relived at the end how the sketch artist really view the woman when he seen them. The ones that the woman describe themselves was “ugly” than the ones that people views them.

This is an ad for Heineken. Back in 2018, Heineken posted an ad how a bartender pass a beer to a white woman that passes 3 other black people at first then uses a tag line “Sometimes, lighter is better.” People could look as this as racist. To me I think people are sensitive because if you seen in the first clips the woman look thirsty and others 3 black people didn’t look thirsty, they look happy and quench. The bartender pass the beer to the woman that look thirsty. As for the tag line it showing that the beer is lightweight not heavy, it’s so light that it can be pass in long distance compare to an object that’s heavy.

Back in 2019, Gucci releases an sweater that offended a lot of people. The sweater remind people of “blackface”. During slavery the whites uses black faces to make fun of black people appearance on tv, shows, and movies. It’s offensive for black people. This can be seen as racist especially during this time of age where slavey been over.


Assignment for March 31 / April 14

Our reading for next week is Roland Barthes’ 1977 essay, Rhetoric of the Image. Here is the PDF: Barthes-Rhetoric-of-the-image

As you read, please make note of all important terms (ie. polysemy, linguistic sign, connoted, denoted, etc.), especially if their meaning is unclear.  Also note important points that you don’t completely follow. And record a list of questions you have concerning the essay. Drop these notes into a post; this will be your written submission for the week. (It does not need to be structured or organized into neat paragraphs.)

The second 2-3 page paper will be a response to this article, and will be due on April 21. In this paper, you’ll critically examine a contemporary advertising image in a manner similar to Barthes’ approach. You will be expected to employ the logic and terminology that Barthes uses in this text. (In other words, this is an important reading!)

Please also consider the advertisement that you would like to address for your essay. It should be an advertisement organized around a single photograph. A full page print ad is preferable.

As you may have seen in my message from last week, I will also hold an optional online session on March 31 from 8:30-9:30 to briefly review this text, and to talk about ideas for the paper. I hope this will be a good opportunity to get ahead on your paper. Please log in if you can!

March 24

SKIMS (shapewear) 2019 
The first name for Kim Skardashian West’s shape wear collection was KIMONO, after she tried to trademark word “Kimono” she was criticized by the internet and official letter from the mayor go Kyoto she decided to change it to SKIMS. 
SKIMS was a big success, and I think big part of it is that the campaign was targeting diverse group of people – inclusive sizing and diverse shades of the product.

Vogue U.S.  Cover (August 2019)
Ariana Grande was accused of blackface.
I think she is tanning her skin to appeal to more diverse group of people.
Also, since editors of the Vogue magazine approved the image I think they are on the same page with Ariana Grande. 

Naomi Campbell Photography by Peter Lindbergh for Harper’s Bazaar Magazine US – December 1992
Even though this  is not recent, after talking with some of my friends I realized that a lot of people even in 2020 don’t understand how wrong this photoshoot is.

Naomi Campbell photographed as a painting of a French artist Paul Gauguin.
Primitivism for Gauguin was way to escape “civilized” people (Europeans like him) and go back to primitive way of leaving. He didn’t respect Tahitian people or their culture. He thought of them as primitive people.
So when a Fashion magazine use a black model to recreate this painting, I think it is wrong. 

Joshua Steele March 24th


This ad was taken from where it depicts a man and woman each in stereotypical garb staring eachother down, the sprays for both are positioned above them, it’s taken straight forward, playing to gender in that without it the contrast would lose meaning

This ad was found on, it’s actually a video that can be found here for the MAC computer, where it shows several influential women with MAC computers. It shows the concept of femininity positively without a reference to men, unlike the AXE ad above.

This third ad was a Head & Shoulders ad featuring Odell Beckhams Jr., it can be found here and shows Black hair in a positive light.

Nirel Escalante – March 24

This ad is for sephora introducing their “Identify as we” campaign commercial. The ad shows various people from various backgrounds including disabled , transgender, poc,  women, girls, boys , men and the LGBTQ community. While personally I found the commercial uplifting, inclusive and welcoming, a lot of people did not like it. At the end of the video it lists various pronouns, since pronouns are a topic of debate in society, the ad was seen as controversial.

This commercial for pepsi had a lot of people angry because they are clearly pandering to people of color, and activists yet they are not protesting anything in particular. They are using protesting as an aesthetic choice rather than to take a stance. Even worse, Kendall Jenner a white famous celebrity is the one to save the day by simply giving a cop a pepsi. It was a commercial posing itself to care about social justice issues and the fact that there was various people of color in the ad and Kendall a white famous privileged woman was the one to save the day was uncomfortable to a lot of people.

controversial nike ad

Nike launched an advert featuring the American quarterback Colin Kaepernick who at the time was known for protesting over the American national anthem during football games. He was trying to bring attention to the injustices that African Americans face.  The tag line  says “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything”. I believe this ad was successful because it comes from a genuine person who did not do this for the purpose of the ad but out of his own actions.

Gelek Samphel_March 24

Image result for united colors of benetton controversial ads

United Colors Of Benetton’s ads are full of diverse elements that are very rare in the 1980s and 1990s and involve topics such as racial discrimination, religious conflicts, various political issues, and even AIDS that seem to have nothing to do with fashion. Benetton teases leaders of several countries on the theme of “unhate”. Pretty embarrassing for these mighty leaders kiss each other on weekdays! The brand has strong humanistic care and faces the audience with the most authentic and original appearance. Boldly present the contradictions and realities of the real world.

Image result for d and g china

November 2018, Originally on the evening of the 21st, Shanghai would hold a fashion show called “The GreatShow”, The incident stems from a series of commercials recently released by D & G, in which clips of a model using chopsticks to eat pizza and pasta in strange poses are accused of discriminating against Chinese. Perhaps D&G never done any research on their market and arrogance took hold of them, this is very dangerous for the brand to be aware of its audience, however, I feel this ad was done purposely as some discriminatory statement of its designer was exposed on the internet, therefore, it is pretty questionable if this ad is done mistakenly or purposely.

Image result for nike controversial ads

Colin Kaepernick has been a controversial figure in the United States for recent years. In August 2016, Kaepernick chose to kneel in protest of racial discrimination and judicial injustice in the United States during the NFL national anthem, which triggered an extensive discussion among NFL players, the league and even politics. He became a leader in fighting for the rights and was therefore considered “unpatriotic” by many people, including President Trump. However, this Controversial ad campaign helped Nike sales surged 31%. After Nike enabled Kaepernick to appear on the billboard, Trump immediately stepped forward and said that the move passed the wrong message. On social networks, many netizens dissatisfied with Nike’s advertising have expressed protests by burning shoes, discarding, and cutting labels. This campaign has perfectly presented its headline “Believe in something, Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Andy Cuevas – March 24

This ad is about how black women get overly sexualized and in this specific ad represent chocolate as most women can attest to unwarranted attention from men is occasionally flattering, sometimes amusing most time problematic.

This ad Urges children’s brands to implement inclusive marketing by ending the practice of marking children’s toys as “toy boys” or “for girls” in-store, print and online advertising materials.

This ad is about cultural identity and pandemic this ad informs the audience about what we are currently going through. A new Scientist is a science journal magazine whose goal is to inform. This type of Ad is right up their ally.

Jessica Lee- Mar 24th

This is an image that Dove uses for advertising.  As you can see Dove caters to all different types of bodies which also includes all types of genders. Their message is promoting self confidence, uniqueness, and authenticity.

Advertising Week is a company where they want people to know that they care about diversity. For this campaign, they used different types of hands. The message for using different types of hands is that, hands are an expression of who we are, what we do, and the story that tells people about us.

Shelter came out with this ad to help the homeless. Shelter is a charity for the homeless.  Here in this ad, you can see that anyone of any age and gender can become homeless.

Jessica Lee- Mar 17th

   Media is heavily used to pass on messages and influence people due to the growth of technology.  In “The Medium is the Message” by Marshall McCluhan, he states that “the medium is the message.”  What McCluhan means by this is that anything new that is introduced to us, we absorb it and then it changes how we function, like creating new jobs.  One example for this is that recently, there has been an increase of kiosks at fast food places which leads to a decrease of jobs for cashiers who take orders from people.  People will use those kiosks instead of going to the counter and ordering from there. 

   Technology has many great benefits however, it does lead to many other negative outcomes.  In McClauhan’s article, he mentions “…we want to get our bearings in our own culture, and have need to stand aside from bias and pressure exerted by any technical form of human expression.”  I believe that this means, our society wants to find our own selves or find where we stand in life and doing this, we have to resist the urge to be influenced by other people’s choices due to what we see in the media.  It is hard to do this, because as human beings we are easily influenced and when we see what is trending or what other people are in their lives it affects us. This is one of the negative outcomes due to technology that we go through as we are getting through life. 

     As designers, we are easily influenced by the media as well.  Since there will be new mediums that will appear, we will have to adapt to create new designs based on those new mediums.  Due to this, our “old” designs will no longer be trendy or in style.  However, it is a phase in our life where we are gathering new experiences and as we do, our designs will be dedicated to what we go through and it will be due to that time period. 

Jonathan Valero – March 24

This is an ad for Huda Beauty foundation showing the diversity of skin tones that their shades are available in. It also has women and men in the ad to show inclusivity of their product.


This is an older ad for the for the white variant of the PSP, playstation’s portable system, the issue is very apparent with a white person standing over and holding on to a black person the idea is that the white is superior to the black which for the system itself is fine but the execution had very obvious racial insensitivity.


This is an ad for the video game call of duty black ops that shows a gun fight showing people of all kinds of occupations genders and races to give the idea that anybody can play this game and have fun also shown in the title “There’s a solider in all of us”.