About

In this print ad for the US cotton industry, a woman carrying shopping bags is walking down a city street. The text above her reads, “I shop therefore I am.”  The quote is attributed to “Mrs. Descartes.” This is a reference to 17th century French philosopher René Descartes, who is best known for the Latin statement “Cogito ergo sum,” which is translated in English as, “I think therefore I am.”  Note that in reality, Descartes was never married.

Discussion

What kinds of messages does the print ad express about the differences between husbands and wives? Between men and women?

On the bottom of the ad, there is a line next to the cotton industry’s logo that reads, “You can never have enough.” Who is the “you” that the ad is addressing? What cues help you draw this conclusion?