Fairy Tales in Modern Advertisements

Fairy tale characters are often used in order to connect to a broader audience. Many people hold these characters in a special place, and using them to promote ideas can be powerful. Here, artist Jeff Hong uses Disney princesses to give a stronger, closer-to-home meaning behind the problems our modern society is facing.

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Little Red Adidas Commercial

In this commercial for Adidas sneakers, Little Red Riding Hood outruns the wolf in her Adidas. The commercial is super old and the VFX are terrible but it’s a pretty good example of a fairy tale in an advertisement.


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Fairy Tales and Weddings

Fairy tales have had a drastic impact on our interpretation of marriage and weddings. Most people have experienced, or have observed little girls dreaming of the most beautiful wedding night, just like the ones portrayed in the fairy tales. Of course, this dream is inspired mostly by the Disney depiction of fairy tales, but nevertheless, fairy tales are still the driving factor in wanting such a grand wedding. If you look up fairy tale weddings, you will see beautiful decorations and sparkling, large wedding dresses often resembling aspects of “Beauty and the Beast”, “Cinderella” and even more Disney influenced fairy tales. Fairy tales often instill the fact that weddings and marriage is so beautiful and perfect. They are the example that most people want to follow with the term “and they lived happily ever after” ingrained in our culture and society. Of course, as we grow up, we know this is not always the case. No marriage, or even the weddings, are as perfect as these fairy tales lead us to believe.


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Image result for fairy tales wedding"

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The Three Little Pigs in Modern Media

This British advertisement twists the tale of the Three Little Pigs in order to promote The Guardian which is a news outlet both online and in print. This ad promotes a new form of journalism in which social media plays a major role in following viral stories. In this ad, The Guardian brings the classic fairytale we know into the real world and modifies it, making the Three Little Pigs the subject of murder and controversy. I find it interesting how this ad depicts the impact of modern day media in a clever and humorous fashion. Rather than seeing the Pigs as the cold-blooded murderers they are, the media portrays them as the victims and blames big business for their actions. This ad is appealing due to the manipulation of a classic story we were told as children into this major murder case in a modern day setting. It won Britain’s “Ad of the Year” in 2012 and even “Best Crafted Commercial” at the British Arrow Craft Awards.

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Fairy Tale Music

I have posted both versions, the music video and the more upbeat arrangement, of  Fairytale by Sara Bareilles. I have been listening to this song for years but in context with the class reading it addresses those themes of passivity and male framing. This song focuses on the tendency for fairytale princesses to have little to no agency in their lives often going with the prince because it is a better option than staying. In its description and video representation of the characters, it draws influence from the original and Disney versions of the tales.  It discusses Cinderella and her failing marriage to a prince she didn’t know, Snow White and her obligation to serve [ the dwarfs], Rapunzel and how the prince found and picked her while she was ostensibly minding her business.  I think she chose fairy tales as a vehicle to discuss a feminist perspective about her ability to choose something better than the next option, the love story, for two reasons. The first is the familiarity everyone holds for these tales making them an analogy that most people can follow. The second is the happy ending associated with them and how she opens the idea that maybe these endings aren’t really happy or at least not as happy as they could be.

Sara Bareilles – Fairytale Version 2

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Fairytales in Advertising – Matthew Lopez

Its interesting to see how elements of fairytales are still used in the modern world. In the video example presented, the company Ford uses the magic and fairy aspect to make a unique and quite humorous commercial to show off its latest model if the Lincoln. In addition, it makes the claim that it shouldn’t take fairytale magic to get the car you want and that Ford makes these seemingly unrealistic possibilities come true.


In this second advertisement by the insurance company Geico, the Three Little Pigs fairytale is modified to show how good their insurance is. To sum it up, the company states that even in unlikely events like ” a wolf blowing your house down”,  Geico will cover the damage and do it at an affordable price.

In both examples, we can see how the elements of fairytales told generations ago continue to reappear in different forms to bring light and joy into not just our personal lives, but in our public lives as well.

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Fairytales in Advertising


“My, what big teeth you have!”

To which the wolf replies, “The better to eat you with.. wait, is that a Kitkat..?  This puts a humorous twist on the story.


“It’s Another Story.”

Another ad is this one for Burger King. Using Little Red Riding Hood is a good advertising tactic because it is a story that most people know and can relate to. Therefore, most people can find humor in these ads automatically because they are already familiar with the story of Little Red Riding Hood. 

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Fairytales in Fashion

Fairytales have such a powerful impact on the world that we live in today and we don’t even realize it. They’re seen everywhere in advertisements, commercials, music, movies, tv shows and even in fashion. I mean who wouldn’t want to dress up and feel like a princess everyday in the clothes that they wear? Many fashion lines have been created to mimic certain fairytales and a popular one is Lauren Conrad’s Cinderella line. After the live action Cinderella had been released into theaters, Conrad had created this line and it had an overwhelming success. She was partnered up with Kohls which helped to sell this line and advertise its enchanting styles. The collection is dreamy, feminine and pretty just like any fairytale. The power of fairytales and the idea of being magical and beautiful that they emphasize allows for clothing lines such as this one to be so successful.

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Fairy tales in modern day-Music

Aside from art, movies and commericals fairy tales also come up in music. In some of them specific fairy tales are easy to identify. For example Diana Vickers’ Cinderella (“If Cinderella was here tonight….Midnight calling but she don’t care….I would lose both, both of my shoes stay all night”) clearly refers to Cinderella. Lost Boy by Ruth B (“I am a lost boy from Neverland Usually hanging out with Peter Pan….He sprinkled me in pixie dust and told me to believe, believe in him and believe in me”) is also an example, referring to Peter Pan. Others may be harder to identity but by looking at the lyrics you can see the references. One example is Kissing Frogs by RaeLynn (“‘Cause I ain’t looking for my Prince Charming on a horse….Yeah I don’t need a Mr, tryin’ to fit that perfect slipper…Wrong with having fun and Kissin’ frogs”) which likely refers to The Frog King and Cinderella. Another is The Boot Fits by Granger Smith (“Just a small town Cinderella….Fairy tale good as it gets if the boot fits….You’re like a princess, in a blue cotton dress I can be your prince”) which refers to the fairy tale love story as a whole and Cinderella.

Cinderella: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He4vgqumVKE                                         Lost Boy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58TBZnvyGwQ                                                                                                                                              Kissing Frogs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVOFSMq6nco                                              The Boot Fits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cDguISGUNQ

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St Joseph’s Sleeping Beauty – Angela, Michael, Ryan

Once upon a time, a long time ago and not so terribly far away, our story begins. The year was 1919 in Brooklyn and at 245 Clinton Avenue, a small school of twelve students was in session. The Sisters of Saint Joseph had just purchased the building to provide education to the Catholic women who wouldn’t have found opportunities elsewhere. One of these students was Catherine Ann, who had been reprimanded for her forgotten homework and left to clean the small laboratory the building held. Not paying very close attention in her haste to finish, she knocked over a sealed glass bottle and as the contents of this vial spilled over her she fell into a fast and deep sleep. 

The next day when the sisters returned to the room they were startled to find Catherine. They made quick notice of what had happened and the amount of fluid that had spilled on her. After careful cleanup, they were able to conclude she would be held in her sleep for one-hundred years. Wanting to make sure that Catherine had a safe place to rest, the nuns placed her in an unused room and as time went on, it was included in the school’s charter that when she awoke she would have a guaranteed place in the schools’ classes, and later that would grow to include their dormitories. 


Catherine Ann opens her eyes and blinks, surprised to find herself in an unfamiliar room. She recalls cleaning the laboratory but she is no longer in the classroom. She wonders if perhaps she was moved and is a little concerned to find how much trouble she will be in for sleeping during her chores. She moves to find a door and upon doing so finds herself in the hallway of a somehow familiar building, though it is not as it appeared in her memory. She is startled when she realizes the narrow hall is lit but there are no windows nor any candles; perhaps the fixtures in the ceiling contained candles? She has never seen anything like this. As she moves through the building a kind older woman approaches her; she introduces herself as Sister Irene Johnson and asks if she can help her find something. Catherine explains what had happened to her while questioning Sister Irene about her outfit. Who had ever seen a woman in pants, and if she was a nun where was her habit?! Sister Irene Johnson was the great-niece of the sister who found Catherine upon the start of her sleep and explains to the young lady that it was no longer 1919 but rather 2019. 

Catherine was in shock, to put it mildly, she had long been without her natural family but was heartbroken to learn that the women with which she had grown so close had long been deceased. She prayed that this was some awful trick and that her world would return to normal, but no such thing would come true. Sister Johnson assured her that they would work to help her adjust to this time and that she could continue to stay at the college with classes, room, and board paid for her. In addition to herself, Sister Johnson assigned Catherine’s peer, James Thomas, to help her adjust to the extraordinary changes. 

To say Catherine was confused by the clothing, the now coed and interracial campus, or the lightbulbs was an understatement of grand proportions, but James took care to explain to her even those things which most of us find self-explanatory. He spent hours with her and the two quickly became close friends. 

Now several months since waking, Catherine wanted to experience the modern world more. With the money the school provided her, she picked up a couple of outfits one would find to be much more suitable to the century. James was so excited for her and decided that with that step she was ready to learn some of the newest technologies of the century. He introduced her to a laptop and the internet it could access.  She was fascinated by the machine though still much more inclined to believe it was magic than anything else. James supported her in this search and in her every adventure in the new world. The love between them soon became clear and they kissed in the quiet of the library at night. It was with that kiss she realized she belonged in this futuristic world and perhaps that is when her spell truly broke. 

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