Have you ever heard a guy say something along the lines of “Be a real man” or “I wanna be a real man” ? Well, what they mean by ‘real man’ is a man that has all the stereotypical ‘manly traits’. What I mean by manly traits are the muscles, dominance, toughness, aggressiveness… you name it. Often, companies use these thoughts to promote or convince their audience to buy their product. This is an advert that was made by the Dusseldorf Panthers, to promote American Football. The Dusseldorf Panthers are an American football team that originated in Germany, and is the oldest still existing American football team in Europe. The team created this advert in hope to convince European males that the other ‘football’ (soccer) is for weaklings.
The image features a black background, with a man’s arm in a flexing position. There are black stitches on his biceps, and the light is shining on his arm from above. The shining light and the stitches on his arm are lined up so that his biceps resembles an American football. The ‘football’ is placed so that it is directly in the middle of the advert, and is obviously intended to be the main focus. By not putting the man’s face in the advert, it allows the male audience to put themselves in his position and imagine how it would be like to be him.
Not only do the stitches make the man’s bicep resemble a football, they also show that men that play American football are tough in several ways. Firstly, the stitches shows that men go through real and serious pain during the game, but continue to play. The stitches on the bicep are used to shock the observer, and draws them into looking at it more intently. Also, the positioning of his arms suggests that the man is not bothered by his wound, and seems profoundly proud about it. In the advert the bicep is objectified for it does not show the man’s face. Furthermore, the association with defined muscles on men can be sexually appealing to women and gay men, which would create a secondary target audience.
The text placed on the bottom of the advert uses a Serif font, and is also bold and white so that it stands out from the black background of the advert. “American Football, The Tougher Football” only consists 5 simple words, but is very effective in its purpose to tell off Football players and fans. By using the word tougher, it tells the audience that American Football players are more capable of great endurance and stronger than Soccer players. Again, women tend to be more attracted to the ‘tougher’ men, and so the text is very effective in convincing both men and women to become a fan of American Football.
The Dusseldorf Panthers successfully uses stereotypical masculine traits to convince its target audience that American Football is the ‘real deal’. The shock that the stitches on his bicep could cause also draws attention to the advert to emphasise what real manliness is. I personally think that although it can be intended towards women and gay men, the more obvious audience of this advert is men. Despite the slightly disturbing image, the standards of masculinity is clearly displayed through its objectification of muscles to show that the tougher, the better.