Through our research regarding gender representation in advertisements of different countries, we decided to continue along the same lines by examining gender representation in the Cannes Lions Grand Prix winners for the retail sector during a ten-year span from 2008 to 2018. The data and conclusions from the research cited in our annotated bibliographies had many similarities across countries regarding the lack of gender representation in advertising, with women being less likely to be the primary character or do voice-overs in advertisements. In addition, there were continued stereotypes in the advertisements that confined women to the domestic sphere, such as with household goods and submissive roles. As a result of our findings, we wanted to take a closer look at the trends in advertising regarding gender representation while also examining the influence of country identity and culture in gender representation of these advertisements, so we decided on examining the winners of an annual international advertising competition, the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity, which would satisfy both aspects.
Our formal research question is: Are women fairly represented and not stereotyped in the Cannes Lions Grand Prix winning advertisements for the retail sector from 2008 to 2018?
Performing an in-depth analysis of the winners of an international advertising competition, with a focus on the last five years, allows us to determine if gender stereotyping is as common in the most popular contemporary ads as it has been in older television. We plan to use methods of analysis developed in our sources. These methods include examining the gender of the product user and voiceover, which allows us to determine if one gender is portrayed as more knowledgeable or trustworthy. Additionally, we will attempt to determine the age, marital status, employment, and the role in the advertisement for each character that appears for at least a predetermined amount of the time in an ad. Focusing on the retail sector is helpful because it allows us to have a smaller sample size (currently 18 advertisements) that is easier to analyze and has a wide variety of products, so the topics and settings of the ads should be fairly diverse.
Our research question is substantial for a variety of reasons. First, it allows us to explore various aspects of gender stereotyping, learning its different forms, and comparing international television to what we see daily in American advertisements. It also allows us and our audience to gain a greater understanding of an issue which is known to exist in the United States. This study also gives us the potential to conclude that Americans are not the only ones to responsible for gender stereotyping in television advertisements or that we are better or worse than than most of the international community in this regard.