27 Dec 2020

A student documentary about how the sound of radio ads echo and reinforce gender stereotypes

From Assignment, 4:06 pm on 27 December 2020
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Photo: John Benson

When we think about the ways in which gender is targeted through product design and marketing, certain things usually spring to mind… such as the colours pink and blue; princesses and superheroes; or even soft vs angular typography and graphics.

But what if you’re listening to a commercial radio station – are these gender lines still evident in the sounds being used? A group of students from the New Zealand Broadcasting School were intrigued by gendered marketing practices, and wondered whether, if they took away the images,people would still associate ads with men or women.

So, does a lawnmower sound male? And does a beach sound female? Let’s find out…