Representations of Gender in Advertising

U of S Student Video Goes Viral: Interview

YouTube project nets over 475K views in one month

A YouTube video that was filmed and edited by several University of Saskatchewan students has gone viral, with over 475,000 views since publication on April 3, 2013.

The video, titled Representations of Gender in Media, is a school project that was created for a Women and Gender Studies class at the University of Saskatchewan by Sarah Zelinski, Kayla Hatzel and Dylan Lambi-Raine.

The group wanted to show how the media portrays gender roles and stereotypes in advertising.

And it’s absolutely hilarious.

The video showcases some seriously outdated advertisements that feature overtly sexualized gender roles. The students cast several of their friends in a role-reversal throughout the video.

It’s both eye-catching and thought-provoking.

Did we mention absolutely hilarious?

Ominocity caught up with Sarah Zelinski, one of the students responsible for the video, on going viral, feminism and YouTube comments gone wild.

Ominocity: This was originally meant as a school project. So when you were filming and putting this all together did you have any idea this video would go viral?

Sarah Zelinski: No, not at all! We didn’t really expect many more than our 30 classmates to see it. I think in the back of our minds, at least mine, we all kind of hoped it would go viral and we joked about it, but never actually believed it would.

OM: A lot of big sites are sharing this video as well – dare I say you struck a chord? Have you thought about following this up?

SZ: I’m still stunned by the response. We owe for giving us the major push that made us go viral because they’re such a massive website with tons of followers. Having Bitch Magazine share our video was really cool too and an honour because I’ve been a big fan of them for years. And yes, we definitely would like to do more. The three of us have discussed doing more related videos and Dylan and I are planning on making one in NYC this summer. We’ve even been contacted by a couple other organizations asking if we could make videos for them too. So we’ll see what happens!

OM: The video sparked a lot of comments and discussion on YouTube about the subject matter. How do you feel about the wide ranging reactions to the video?

SZ: More or less the reactions and comments we’ve received have been positive, however feminism is a touchy topic and once the video started getting big the attack comments flooded in. It was kind of expected so none of us are taking it personal. Most are so ridiculous that we just have to laugh them off. A couple favorites so far “women have a genetic predisposition to being objects” “Realize that females always & forever will be sexual objects. Get over it.” “Fucking feminist as shit video.. . get over yourself” and “but i like tits..”

OM: What was the best part about putting out this video? Would you do it all over again?

SZ: The overwhelming response has been amazing and it feels great to know that we reached so many people. Several people and organizations from around the world have contacted us requesting to use the video for teaching purposes. There probably isn’t anything more rewarding than that. The entire process from start till now has been incredible and is exciting; our hard work really paid off. We were really lucky to have such a great group of people to work with during the photoshoots and we all had a blast together. I think it’s safe to say that all of us would definitely do it again!

Representations of Gender in Advertising

Representations of Gender in Advertising

Representations of Gender in Advertising