Who do you idealize?
Omega’s James Bond advertisement plays directly into the stereotypical idea that men (or at least Omega’s target audience) aspire to be the hero, the ladies man – the icon of “Bond. James Bond.” The ad implies that if a man wears an Omega watch, then he will be just as smooth, sophisticated and impressive as Bond himself. As a character that we have all grown up knowing (considering Bond was created in 1962 and is still a prominent figure today), this ad could potentially target women as well by implying that if one buys this watch for her man then he will be much more suave or attractive or a number of other characteristics.
The female version of this ad takes a different, but contextually similar, angle of approach – the model. Idealization of models is nothing new, and Cindy Crawford is a great one to aspire to be. Even more than that, she is portrayed here as the lady in red – she captures men’s attention as the temptress, the one they strive to have. She is poised, classy, obviously gorgeous and a well known icon both in the celebrity and stereotypical sense. And the set up of this ad makes sure the audience recognizes that. Even the background chosen for this ad (what looks like a lavish hotel or restaurant) expresses a sense of class and sophistication.
There are no large invisible messages in these ads, but they do play into society’s gender stereotypes and fantasies quite obviously. By placing the focus on who is wearing the watch, however, Omega takes the focus away from the quality of the watch itself and instead places emphasis on the “designer” brand, celebrity status and wealth aspects of wearing its products. I do not doubt that if a cheaper, even “knock-off,” brand of watch used James Bond and Cindy Crawford as their subjects that just as many viewers would purchase the item – despite its lower quality.