Saturday, February 25, 2017

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A new film portrays how women’s roles have changed over five decades

The name British Caledonian – the Scottish airline – is a blast from the past. So, too, is its popular television ad, aired from 1983. To the tune of the Beach Boys’ classic California Girls, a group of suited male passengers each sing the virtues of “air hostesses” of different nationalities. The song culminates in a rousing chorus of “I wish they all could be Caledonian Girls” after the verse line “Those beautiful far eastern girls do splendid things with rice, but there is only one girl we want to see as we reach the departure gate.”

It was seen as a bit of fun at the time, but now comes as a salutary reminder of how television commercials reflect changes in attitudes. Next month, a film made to accompany a series of events at a London museum is to chart the way women have been represented in British TV ads over 50 years. While advertisers still need fresh gimmicks to persuade the public to buy one brand of cereal over another, they remain effortlessly skilful at shaping the way we see ourselves.

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from Advertising | The Guardian