Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Marketing Ideology

With the start of term comes the yearly deluge of pointless and, you guessed it, expensive advertising by the school. With a marketing budget that could easily be put to better use educating children (see Trash passim), especially in these belt-tightening times, half-page adverts for prospective students have already been spotted in copies of the Ham&High, despite the paper recently ignoring the school’s exam results almost entirely. As well as this, multiple posters have been spotted on bus stops along the C11 route.

All the advertising material this year has had a bit of an update from that of the past few years, now featuring students that actually still attend the school (see below). The new (and most likely costly) design features most prominently an image of two students – one male, one female – sitting beside each other, of course in ‘perfect’, yet nowhere near close to smart, uniform. Whilst the male student pretends to be working for the camera, the female student gazes wistfully at this most proud and powerful boy as he works away.

Of course, the school couldn’t possibly be suggesting with such a pose that it is men that do all the hard work whilst it is a woman’s place to simply admire their male superiors? That would be like something out of a 1950’s infomercial on how to keep a good house. But whilst the smaller images of the advertising campaign show students pretending to be able to act, two sixth formers pretending to study and a student pretending to be a cardboard fox (we’re not kidding on that last one), the main image provides what may or may not be inadvertent sexist overtones. Surely this isn’t the same Hampstead that solved gender discrimination by segregating girls and boys with a sign now, is it?

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