I Thought You Cared!
I have been noticing some interesting advertising campaigns of late. I’ve been noticing ads that just don’t seem to be the right fit. Themes which are disjointed or mean-spirited. I don’t like to be advertised to that way. I thought it was time to speak up. It might even be time to break up…
I really love you Blackmores. I have loved you since WAY back, when you had that pastel green packaging with the kind of Art Nouveau font. I have loved you since I first sloughed my face as a teenager with your gritty face scrub. I loved your marshmallow stuff and your apricot kernel stuff too. Now, I love you for your nail and hair strengthening vitamins, for your Echinacea, for your fortifying Vitamin C. I turn to you when I am feeling lousy or run down or virtuous. But perhaps we are growing apart? Maybe I’m moving on? Are we at different places? I mean, why would you a) advertise a weight loss product at this bandwagon time of year and b) advertise a weight loss product encouraging lady rivalry with a tag line musing ‘Who’d have thought you’d be happy he invited his ex.’ And is that a question? Should there be a question mark? I have a big question mark over the whole thing really, dear Blackmores. Here’s what the ad says, just so we’re on the same page :
“Working towards your healthy weight-loss goal is truly satisfying with new Blackmores Weight-Less capsules. They’re rich in blah blah blah to help you feel fuller for longer. So whatever your motivation to lose weight, today’s the day to make sure he’s not the only one who won’t be able to take his eyes off you at the altar. Blah blah blah”
So weight loss is all about being cuter than the lady who has gone before me? And I also need to rub her face in my Weigh-Lessness? And women are locked in competition via the ‘Thin Thigh Olympics’? Hm. I thought you knew me better than that.
I really love you Wonderbra. You hoisted my boobs up to my chin through the 80s and 90s, so I could shimmy perkily to Better The Devil You Know. Wonderbra, you gave us surgery-shy girls a swift and heavily padded way to fake it. You provided a convenient cleavage for me to stow my dinner crumbs in. Oh thank you Wonderbra! But have we grown apart, like the lift and separated bosoms you bolster? What I’m NOT sure about is why you’ve decided that a (lovely) fella is the best candidate to promote your product. I mean, do boys wear bras? No they don’t! (Usually.) Isn’t it that simple? Why would the fact that this bra can give boys boobs make me want to buy it? I mean granted, he’s a fabulous boy, but BOYS DON’T WEAR BRAS! Boys don’t have boobs. It makes no sense. Should I be recognizing bloke’s rights to brassieres? Are girls passe? Is there a boob shortage forcing Wonderbra to turn to fellas? What next? Do you want to try a camel next time? I thought you knew me better than that.
I really love you Libra. I loved your florally Cath Kidston-esque tampon concealing packaging. I love it that your useful products make life easier. I love it that not only me, but my daughter also, has grown up with your useful, floral ways. I will never forget all you’ve done for us in the lady department, honestly. But maybe it’s time we took a break? Maybe you’re going through a phase. I’ll be here, on the other side, when you’ve sorted yourself out. You take your time and let me know if you need any support.
Mostly I’m worried about the ad with the Drag Queen. It’s all about how real girls get their period. It sends up Drag Queens as snotty period wanna-havers. Do Drag Queens have periods? Probably most of them don’t. And probably most of them don’t want periods. Correct me if I”m wrong. So why are they the (negative) focus of this ad? Also your ad assumes that periods = femininity. What about ladies who don’t have periods? Are they less female? Hm. I am sure there are HEAPS of other ways to plug feminine hygiene products. Possibly not the best choice for a tampon ad, Libra. What next? Maybe you guys might be trying a camel next, too? I thought you knew me better than that?
I propose, dear Blackmores, Libra, Wonderbra and others in your realm, that you stop rolling out the gimmicks and start rolling out the smarts. I propose that you talk to me like a beloved friend, one that is a bit clever and appreciates creativity, humor and innovation, but doesn’t necessarily go in for snickery, tricksy, shock tactics. Please don’t pit me against other women, or I might poke you in the eye. Surprise me with your intuition and thoughtfulness. Prove to me that you remember who I am, that you value what we had?
Do you think I need to walk away? Is it time to break up?
Have you seen these ads. Did they give you the willies? What do you think? Weigh in here or over there if you are ticked off, too!