Archive for the 'Commercial Lessons' category

Yogurt: It's a Woman Thing

[View the story "Yogurt: It's a Woman Thing, You Wouldn't Understand" on Storify]

Yogurt: It's a Woman Thing, You Wouldn't Understand

Storified by · Sun, Sep 09 2012 20:00:14

At 10:34 am on 9 Sept 2012, @Scicurious tweeted (really sorry, I can't figure out how to embed this tweet):

"Open letter to commercials targeting women: So true. I express my own uniqueness through feminine care products."

(The bolding is mine.)
You must go read that article NOW!
@GertyZ tweeted the same article and also replied to @Scicurious
Haha! But true. MT"@GertyZ: Open Letters: Open Letter 2 the People in Charge of Commercials Targeting Women. via @Zite"TSZuska
@scicurious doesn't everyone? BRING ON THE MINIVANGerty-Z
And we were all off and running!
@scicurious but the poor guys who keep getting rejected from the yogurt aisle? So sad!biochem belle
@scicurious enjoy it now. Someday, menopause. Then: no uniqueness, no femininity. Unless you eat yogurt.TSZuska
@scicurious Although those yogurt-eaters always look awfully young. I thing all that's left post-menopause is bone loss & hot flash meds.TSZuska
@TSZuska And wrinkle cream! LOTS of expensive wrinkle cream.sci curious
@scicurious Indian commercials include vaginal tightening creams, vaginal fairness & well, regular fairness creams. Jiwrajka
Well now, that's something to look into! I am certain I have not been nearly worried enough about my vaginal fairness.
@TSZuska @scicurious @kateclancy perhaps you've missed news that Poise has developed a whole line of menopause-related products #innovative?Lisa Hinchliffe
Depressingly, there will come the day when we all need something like a Poise pad, or worse. #oldagesucks But I am seriously not going to worry about "feeling confident" in my bladder leakage years with panty fresheners and feminine wash. There will be no equivalent of an Air Wick Stick-Up on the bottom of my pantaloons.

Let's change the subject.

@TSZuska I really pity all the guys who, according to the commercials, don't eat yogurt. That stuff is great!sci curious
@biochembelle @scicurious I'm starting a Men Can Eat My Yogurt support group. There's an entry requirement for each straight man.TSZuska
@TSZuska @biochembelle Is it like a hazing process for men who want to eat yogurt? Like they have to eat plain?sci curious
@scicurious @TSZuska Or require them to distinguish regular vs Greek, nonfat vs full fat by blind taste test?biochem belle
@biochembelle @scicurious Well I was thinking of making them prove they'd eaten something else, but that's good, too.TSZuska
@scicurious @TSZuska Though the dude from Burn Notice is apparently the only man who isn't stripped of his masculinity by eating yogurt.Kate Clancy
@KateClancy @scicurious @TSZuska and John Stamos. He's in a yogurt commercial. Greek yogurt. Manly yogurt. :DRadium Yttrium
@KateClancy @scicurious Always an exception here & there. Most men don't have the biological necessities to digest yogurt. #EvolutionTSZuska
@TSZuska @KateClancy @scicurious I've heard that they've got ways of shutting all of that down, though.Emily Willingham
@ejwillingham @KateClancy @scicurious If legitimately forced to eat yogurt, no gaseous bloating will result. It's a known scientific fact.TSZuska
@DrRubidium @SciTriGrrl @KateClancy @TSZuska You mean greek yogurt is MANLY?! I've been eating MANLY yogurt! HORRORZ.sci curious
@DrRubidium @KateClancy @scicurious @TSZuska but John stamos isn't eating the yoghurt, it's just who appears when women eat yoghurtNatC
You are safe, @Scicurious.  Still appropriately feminine!
@SciTriGrrl @KateClancy @scicurious @TSZuska I do remember him eating some, but he was also feeding a woman, which is just creepyRadium Yttrium
@DrRubidium @KateClancy @scicurious @TSZuska clearly I'm not paying sufficient attention to ads aimed at me. Whoops!NatC
AARGH! RT @scicurious: @DrRubidium @SciTriGrrl @KateClancy @TSZuska You mean greek yogurt is MANLY?! I've been eating MANLY yogurt! HORRORZ.NatC
Or......not.  That manly yogurt may have some biological effects on gendered behavior.
@scicurious @SciTriGrrl @KateClancy @TSZuska yes, I eat it and then start random street fights :DRadium Yttrium
@DrRubidium @SciTriGrrl @TSZuska @scicurious I eat it before roller derby bouts for MOAR TESTOSTERONE.Kate Clancy
And now, a semi-serious tweet...
@TSZuska @biochembelle @scicurious @Mom101 wrote a post about it. If memory is correct, the adverts we want don't do well in focus groupsScientistMother
@ScientistMother @biochembelle @scicurious @Mom101 i have been in focus groups. Ppl r anxious 2 get out & get their $$; herd mentality...TSZuska
@ScientistMother @biochembelle @scicurious @Mom101 one or 2 strong voices, everyone follows them. Drink coffee, get done, get cash.TSZuska
This, among other reasons, is why we have such crap-ass commercials.  This, and the undying belief that patriarchy sells. Because #evolution!
@TSZuska @biochembelle @scicurious perhaps @Mom101 could provide more info. She's pretty awesome about getting change in advertisingScientistMother
@scicurious @ScientistMother @TSZuska @biochembelle Oddly, that's the first McS essay where I've ever felt, "Seen it."Liz Gumbinner
@Mom101 @scicurious @TSZuska @biochembelle seen it bc others have said it before?ScientistMother
Sigh. Sometimes I get the feeling it's all been said before, a thousand million times.  Still, we have to say it again and again, and laugh a little along the way. 

3 responses so far

When Zombies (Should) Attack: Stormy Cabin Diamond Lurve

Dec 07 2010 Published by under Commercial Lessons

If you yourself are not yet fallen to a zombie invasion, and have watched any tv in the past year, you know you have seen the commercial.  The stormy weather, couple in the cabin, she's all "oh noes!" and he's all stolid masculinity, and it ends with DIAMONDZ!!!!  It is the worst fucken diamond commercial ever, and you have to wonder whether the peeps who wrote and produced it were just jacking around with the diamond folks, or does this shit really sell diamonds?  If the latter, I must say I really do fear for the future of my country, even more so than normal.

Here, for your amusement, is what I believe the ad folks had in mind when they scripted this one:

[Cue lightning] Woman: "ZOMFG! Lightning! I have never fucken seen lightning this up close and personal before in my life! And now I am in some fucken cabin with this douche! Jesus fuck! Save me!"
Douche: "I'm right here, honey." [Dramatic pause] "And I always will be."
Woman: "Jesus fuck! It's raining buckets out there and crashing lightning and we are in this tiny godforsaken cabin you dragged me out to in the middle of fucken nowhere and you expect me to be reassured because YOU are 'right here'???? What the fucking fuck? I mean, really? Hey, what?...DIAMONDS!!!!! Awwwww....I will totally blow you later."

7 responses so far

Weeding the Forest

Apr 23 2010 Published by under Commercial Lessons, Gardening For Life

Sharon Astyk hates Earth Day. Really hates it. There she was, publicly hating it on its 40th anniversary, no less.

And most Earth Day programs send the same message. They say "you too can make a difference...and it will be convenient, mostly involve shopping and won't change your life. Here, take some baby steps, change your lightbulbs, plant one tomato" and come listen to some folkie music!"

Well, that can't be right, can it? Sadly, yes. As I commented on another of Sharon's posts,

Just saw a tv commercial for a compostable potato chip bag. According to the commercial, I can totally save the earth by eating those chips! Curly haired blond children were frolicking over grassy bucolic hillsides, all because of the chip bag. It was amazing.

Those grassy bucolic hillsides, by the way, did not appear to be infested with either garlic mustard or multiflora rose, or any of the other pests on this list of invasive species in PA.
I spent Earth Day weeding the forest edge that borders the back of my property. Specifically, I pulled out a metric fuckton of garlic mustard, along with a several nice handfuls of Star of Bethlehem. The former is much more satisfying to weed than the latter, because you can generally pull out the entire plant and its whole root system, whereas the Star of Bethlehem needs to have its bulb dug out and good luck if you can. And I just discovered a patch of what I am pretty sure is multiflora rose, which has me gnashing my teeth in despair. A giant bucket of Agent Orange would not be a sufficient aid in doing battle against that enemy. I could scorch my hillside and leave it open to erosion and next spring, no doubt, that multiflora rose would be back.

Continue Reading »

30 responses so far

Keep Your Eyes On That Prizey Kitchen!

Apr 07 2010 Published by under Commercial Lessons, Race Matters, Technology Gone Bad

Today I googled the phrase "eyes on the prize". Here's an excerpt from one link that came up.

The fire hoses and police dogs. The Montgomery bus boycott. The march on Washington. You've probably seen scattered footage of these images, but no project ever connected pictures to context with the tenacity of Eyes on the Prize.
The 1987 PBS series brought the strategies and struggles of the civil rights movement to new generations worldwide. Now, after years of wrangling over copyright and licensing issues, Eyes is finally available on DVD for a new mass audience. (It was already available for educators.)
The six-hour series is a masterwork of visual storytelling and eyewitness recollection, spanning the events from the grisly murder of Emmett Till in 1955 to the marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. In between, we find heroes both famous and obscure, many bearing witness for the first time, others who died for the cause of equality.

I have no doubt that is why IKEA felt compelled to create this homage to racial justice and equality, featuring the use of the phrase "eyes on the prize" by a white woman who has seen the light.

A black couple could not have been cast in this commercial, because it is meant to illustrate how far whites have come along the path of understanding racial issues in America.

111 responses so far

But Plumber Chicks Are HAWT!

Last night I was watching tv with Mr. Zuska and the loathsome Kohler's "Jo's Plumbing" commercial came on yet again.

Plumbing is one of those trades that have been traditionally dominated by men. Women have struggled to gain access to these well-paying jobs. It is a job that takes a women out, often on her own, into the houses of strangers, where she might be vulnerable to sexual assault, not to mention the harassment and discrimination she might have to put up with on the job from colleagues.
In this commercial the young plumber is, of course, hot and sexy, dressed in tight clothing to show off her body (unlike what a real plumber might actually wear). She shows by a sultry glance at the average-looking d00d coming out of his house that she, though at work and on the way to a plumbing job, is certainly available to and interested in him. Earning a living will not get in the way of her sexual availability for any random guy she happens to pass on the street! This woman is dark-haired and vaguely ethnic/exotic - perhaps Latina. Average D00d, though clearly on his way somewhere, is overcome by lust and runs back into his house to try stopping up his toilet - which is, as all women agree, a surefire mating strategy. As he is failing miserably in his quest, a non-exotic, non-sexily dressed, blond woman, presumably his wife or partner, wanders by the bathroom door and catches him at his ridiculous labor. Average D00d looks up, caught, sheepish. Thus ends the commercial.
The text of the commercial is obviously the amazing flushing power of the Kohler toilet, but what, exactly, are we to make of the commercial's subtext? Obviously, we aren't meant to think much about it at all in the first place - it's just supposed to function as background. But what sort of background? Average D00d is the buffoonish husband of so many sitcom families, Blond Woman is his long-suffering wife. What does Jo the Plumber signify? Women's sexuality, dark and mysterious, driving men to do ridiculous things, to lose control over themselves and their planned agendas - to lose responsibility for themselves. Hawt women want it - all the time - even when they're working! So what if you are in a relationship - it is perfectly reasonable to lose control over yourself at the sight of a Hawt Exotic Woman Who Totes Wants You, You Know She Does.
Something else about this commercial's subtext: it lets us know who the commercial takes as its audience. And that would be, heterosexual white men, who can identify with Average D00d in his lust for exoticized Jo, and then admire the masterful performance of the Kohler toilet, shown to manfully handle every (clean and unblemished) item thrown at it. You gotta hand it to the Kohler ad folks. Here they are, trying to sell a product whose purpose is to efficiently and swiftly dispose of piss and shit, and they've done it by connecting it with hawt sexy exotic women. Hawt sexy exotic women are, of course, not the same as those illegal immigrant wetbacks that are stealing our jobs. You know, like cleaning our toilets, something done more and more frequently these days by illegal immigrants.
I would bet that most bathroom renovations - the market Kohler might be trying to reach - are under the guidance and decision-making of women. It seems like it would make more sense to create a commercial that would appeal to women's interests, and that doesn't treat women like sex objects, but then, I don't get paid the big bucks at the ad agencies. And sex narratives like the one in the Kohler ad are so ingrained in the consciousness of all of us that they may work equally well on women as on men. I'm sure we'll be able to tell by the comments. How long till someone shows up to accuse me of having no sense of humor, of reading too much into a "simple" commercial (like any commercial is ever simple), and all the other familiar, tired, tiresome complaints one hears whenever one dares to notice the miasma of gender smog permeating our lives?

33 responses so far