Monday, October 25, 2010

Editing Needed: Ads for Working Girls

The world of advertising is one of targeting consumers with images and wordplay. What are key phrases that will make people buy products? What images do we want to associate with our product?
I can't go to Thundercloud Subs in Austin without immediately hearing their jingle (if you haven't visited Austin and haven't heard it, be thankful) and definitely can't think of the Santa Barbara Zoo back in California without singing the whole song - yes, there is one ("..a wild adventure is waiting for you. We're as wild as it gets, the Santa Barbara Zoo")! Advertisers help us associate products or places with songs, images and phrases for this exact reason - so that we can easily identify and take time to think about them as a brand.
I usually don't think about advertising that much until a ridiculous infomercial comes on. Now that I truly identify myself as a Working Girl, there are plenty of those targeted at us that have been brought to my attention. Has anyone else seen ads for Working Girls and thought to themselves, "Why would they do that?!"
First up, we have 'Cami Secret', a "revolutionary product" apparently:

My issue with this ad is not the product itself (though I do think it is a bit silly since there is such a thing as Camis already to just wear under your shirt), it is the way the product is presented. The first image shown is a Working Girl whose boss is looking down her shirt. This automatically gives the impression that this product is important because it will help Working Girls be taken seriously at work, or that if you aren't being taken seriously this is the solution. I think if your boss or coworker is staring at your chest that obviously, there is a bigger problem than your shirt and a better solution that adding a Cami Secret to your wardrobe.
Next up, my personal favorite, the Summer's Eve ad, disguised as an editorial to help Working Girls ask for a raise:

Please divert your attention to the first, and apparently most important suggestion, to ask for a raise: "It should start with your usual routine ... including showering with Summer's Eve Feminine Wash or throwing a packet of Summer's Eve Feminine Cleansing Cloths into your bag for a quick freshness pick-me-up during the day." WHAT?! AOL News describes the problem with this ad the best way possible. "That's right, ladies. Forget all that you've achieved during your time at Acme, or wherever it is that you work. First and foremost, wash your lady bits." The article goes on to state how bloggers and Working Girls alike were offended by the ad, citing a correlation between being a woman and needing feminine care products to the way their ads play on possible insecurities (i.e. smell, appearance, cleanliness, etc.).
So what can be done? When will ads for Working Girls not make us out to simply be at the office for the visual pleasure of our male coworkers and career counterparts or make us think our 'feminine cleanliness' has anything to do with our success in our careers? Have you come across any ads that need editing?


Melissa said...

"Roast beef & avocado!" Thank you, now I have the Thundercloud Subs song stuck in my head. Guess it gets the point across :)

Amy said...

I love how infomercials try to make the simplest things look so difficult - regular camis can be soooo uncomfortable - you don't want to be tugging and pulling all day!

And that Summer's Eve ad is completely ridiculous and offensive.

Amrita said...