Sparkling Fruitwater: The Picture-Perfect Drink
The Sparkling Fruitwater advertisement depicts an image split in half with one side containing the actual drink in its bottle with a white background while the other side shows Christina Applegate in front of a pink background wearing a white dress, pink belt, and drinking the flavored ‘watermelon punch’ sparkling Fruitwater. On the right-hand side where the actual product is displayed, the advertisement also includes text that states important qualities in the drink such as consisting of zero calories and no juice. Also, in both of the top corners of the entire image, there are bubbles that frame the picture making it more feminine. In other advertisements as well as this Sparkling Fruitwater advertisement, women are used to portray perfect images that draw attention of other women of all ages and suggest to the audience that a woman must look perfect in body shape, skin quality, and well being. This Fruitwater advertisement depicts Christina Applegate as a woman of perfection and suggests that women are encouraged to buy products under the assumption that she would acquire picture-perfect looks.
Throughout the Fruitwater advertisement, many feminine aspects contribute to the idea that women must buy products that enhance flawless looks. Most notably one can see that the two most prominent colors are white and pink. The color of white often symbolizes purity, while pink is the color that notably symbolizes femininity. Along with these prominent colors, Fruitwater depicts the biggest words in the advertisement as “bubbly” and “beauty”. From these words, the viewer assumes conclude that a woman who drinks the sparkling water will have a bubbly personality that can be described as friendly, lively, and enjoyable to be around. The word “beauty” is a characteristic that all women heavily desire but believe that there is only one image that can truly achieve the title of beauty, which is one of flawlessness. This heavy desire can be described as an “obsessive, almost religious quest for the perfect body” that women pursue on a daily basis due to the influence of the media (Stephens and Hill). If the company decided to create an advertisement with the drink being flavored orange or blueberry, the image would not be able to incorporate feminine characteristics, to target women, as this one does; thus, the company chose the flavor of ‘watermelon punch’. Furthermore, the health aspects of watermelon, a fruit primarily made of water, allows Fruitwater to give more attention to women since women typically scrutinize their body and health more than men. In addition, the advertisers decide to highlight the fact that the water is sparkling instead of normal, still water. By contrasting dull, drab attributes with sparkling, lively ones, the advertisers enhance the femininity of the image and place a sense of elegance onto the drink further adding beautification characteristics to the drink. This factor reveals that the advertisers target those who desire to change their normal features and change into those of presumably better-looking features that allow the consumer to achieve ‘perfection’. Because “society has built up impossible standards of beauty,” many women experience feelings of “inadequacy” and believe they must follow society’s expectations in order to be accepted (Britton). Furthermore, the advertisement depicts Christina Applegate drinking the sparkling Fruitwater through a straw. Any normal person would most likely drink the water straight out of the bottle since it already comes packaged into a bottle with a lid. Therefore, this supports that “advertising proposes lifestyles and forms of self-presentation that [women] use to define their roles in society” (Zotos and Tsichla). The creator of the image wants to suggest that Christina embodies characteristics of flawless to the extent that she only drinks from a straw to produce a more polite and appropriate depiction of which society expects from women.
Because of feminine aspects, the advertisement reveals that if a woman buys the product, she will achieve the desirable, flawless image of every woman’s dream. The company chose Christina Applegate to model for this advertisement for her body image. One can see and conclude that she has a slim, fit body style which everyone desires. This body type is enhanced through the style choice of a white, slim-fitting dress enhances her body type. The white color of the dress symbolizes that Christina has qualities of purity and/or innocence which are both desirable characteristics. The pink belt on her waist directly resembles the label on the bottle of the sparkling water. This placement suggests that because the woman’s silhouette parallels to the bottle, she may be objectified and dehumanized. This message may depict to the audience that although the model looks flawless she characterizes unrealistic features. In spite of this, the advertisement suggests that if a woman drinks the sparkling water, she can achieve an ideal image. As depicted through an interview, “junior and senior high school girls found [that] the ‘ideal girl’ resembles Barbie”, a toy that has been marketed over many generations (Stephens and Hill). Christina Applegate parallels the blonde hair, white skin, and no blemishes of Barbie; therefore, one may conclude that the advertisement secludes young women who are not blonde and are of a different racial status. By society’s standards, women of different racial origin do not contain the ideal image one desires. The sparkling Fruitwater contains “0 calories”; however, naturally, fruit contains calories proving Fruitwater’s claim wrong. Along with containing no calories, the drink advertises “contains no juice”. The statement creates a paradox as to whether the flavoring originates from natural or artificial flavors. Falsifying the potential benefits of the product, the drink potentially leads “to negative consequences… such as body dissatisfaction, reduced self-confidence, and confinement of professional opportunities” because of the limitations that the facts place into a woman’s mind (Zotos and Tsichla). The text in very small font on the advertisement states that the drink is great for a “perfectly imperfect life”. In the reader’s’ mind, he or she would assume that the company realizes that life is crazy and far from perfect, however, the image of Christina seems to contradict this idea because Fruitwater depicts her as flawless.
The sparkling Fruitwater advertisement portrays an image of perfection and causes women to believe that purchasing the drink will allow them to achieve an unrealistic but perfect look. Without a change in the way advertisements are depicted, women will continue to believe that acceptance means perfection, and to achieve perfection, they must buy products that will only provide benefits. As Fruitwater and companies alike market to a specific target audience and destroy self-image, companies should reconsider the effect of their marketed product on all peoples. By correcting their advertisements, to only give people a boost in self-esteem, and products, to truly be beneficial to one’s health, companies could then market to include more people of different ethnicity. If changed, the companies would provide more people with a healthier body, mindset, and stimulate commerce which generates profit for the company in turn, making a mutually beneficial relationship to companies and consumers.
Britton, Ann Marie, “The Beauty Industry’s Influence on Women in Society” (2012). Honors Theses and Capstones. 86. https://scholars.unh.edu/honors/86
Stephens, Debra Lynn, and Ronald Paul Hill. “The Beauty Myth and Female Consumers: The Controversial Role of Advertising.” Journal of Consumer Affairs, vol. 28, no. 1, Summer 1994, pp. 137–153. EBSCOhost, proxy-remote.galib.uga.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=fsr&AN=9405267515&site=ehost-live.
Zotos, Yorgos C, and Eirini Tsichla. “Female Stereotypes in Print Advertising: A Retrospective Analysis.” Procedia — Social and Behavioral Sciences, Elsevier Ltd., 29 Sept. 2014, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042814039688.