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Bastet

Class, Gender, Race, etc. in Commercials

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This is the place to analyze the parade of stereotypes still being put forth by Madison Avenue, plus the commercials that break the mold.

One of my many complaints: The plethora of cleaning product commercials that feature a child, a husband/father who acts like a child, and a wife/mother cleaning up their mess with a smile.

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The stupid husband portrayal drives my husband nuts.  It's prevalent in so many commercials, I can't even begin by linking just one, here.  Though I suppose it's better than "ring around the collar".

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The stupid husband portrayals drive me nuts, too, because the things they're shown being inept at doing are domestic tasks.  It's all part of reinforcing the myth that women are innately suited to such work, whereas such drudgery is a waste of men's skill and intelligence.  Fundamentally, advertising for household products has not changed much over the decades; the message is being conveyed in a different way, but it's the same message.

Edited by Bastet
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Is it just me, or has Tide actually started shying away from the old tropes about men being idiots and only women can clean? Seems like every guy in a Tide commercial these days is perfectly capable of doing the laundry themselves. I mean, who knew?

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Don't you know that the men end up that way due to the wife being an unbending shrew of a person who can't let the man try his way of cleaning or shopping (he'd poison the family somehow -Clorox- or forget the basics  due to not having a list), can't stop comparing how clean her house is to everyone else's- to the point of starting fights (Cascade, lookin' at you), and/or seems to be working a full-tilt job in addition to the family, so she is always tired. That's why the kids are apathetic, bratty/entitled or conniving.

I also hate the other version of ad-stupid: the Average Joe Customer has to be stupid for the "humorous" take on why one service/product/whatever is better. There is actual humor to be found in comparison ads, but to make the audience look like idiots for using the "clearly" "superior"   whatever just turns us off.  Especially if we aren't already using whatever the ad is shilling.

 

ETA: That Jimmy John's ad: was it meant for American/North American audiences?  It seemed to be trying to show the Presenter trying to  please his boss with something's speeds (if we are indeed getting personal mech suits, I am in!), but JJ being faster than the 5k per whatever (MPH? KPH?) and the boss... thinking  Jimmy John's was working for them? It's a weird ad.

Edited by Actionmage

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I wish some of the Tide commercials with Dad doing the laundry would show a wife in the background, indicating he's doing the laundry simply because it's as much his responsibility as it is hers, not that he's doing it by default because there is no little woman there to do her job. 

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ETA: That Jimmy John's ad: was it meant for American/North American audiences?  It seemed to be trying to show the Presenter trying to  please his boss with something's speeds (if we are indeed getting personal mech suits, I am in!), but JJ being faster than the 5k per whatever (MPH? KPH?) and the boss... thinking  Jimmy John's was working for them? It's a weird ad.

 

Yes, it was for American tv. Apparently there was a whole series of them, I just only saw that one on my tv. There was also one where a white family gets lost in the ghetto and they see some Hispanic guys on the corner, so they call Jimmie Johns to deliver sandwiches so they won't be alone or something like that.

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I wish some of the Tide commercials with Dad doing the laundry would show a wife in the background, indicating he's doing the laundry simply because it's as much his responsibility as it is hers, not that he's doing it by default because there is no little woman there to do her job.

But then, she'd have to re-do what he did.  That one where the couple is folding baby laundry 'cause they had a litter instead of just one bugs the crap out me - she tells him "your folding sucks" and then folds the shirt even sloppier than he did...while he AGREES that his folding sucks.

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But then, she'd have to re-do what he did.  That one where the couple is folding baby laundry 'cause they had a litter instead of just one bugs the crap out me - she tells him "your folding sucks" and then folds the shirt even sloppier than he did...while he AGREES that his folding sucks.

I really hate that and I see it in real life, too. Then the women want to wonder why their husbands don't help out. If you were berated and insulted each time you attempted to help or do something to contribute to the household, you'd finally say, "Fuck it," too.

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 The Okinawa Life diet supplement is also getting to the beyond irritating level. In the latest one, there are three Caucasian "scientists" hovering around this couple of Okinawa natives. The scientists are trying to figure out why Okinawans live so much longer than other folks. (I yelled at my tv 'Because they don't hound people about their lifestyle!') The couple speak Japanese to each other about amazed that folks are studying them and quietly pedal away from the note-scribbling trio. Whereupon the trio realize their "subjects" have left and they Keystone Kop run after the couple in order to continue their "study."

 

First- way to make scientists look like morons. Decked out in white lab coats and clipboards in the field. Apparently two folks in their 70s to 90s need three chaperones to note every activity they do. I highly doubt that you need lab coats just following normal folks living their normal life, Okinawa Life, so shut up. 

 

Second- the Okinawan couple is far more gracious than anyone should be. The dialogue implies that the couple has been watched/studied for a while. That's normal for some big report, not in coming up with a dietary supplement, or am I being naïve on that?  All of the Okinawa Life ads mention that there has been a decades-long study of the diet. Surely the couple in the latest ad doesn't need to have their food monitored anymore, right? Plus, the couple giggle between themselves at the doofi following  them. Yes, laughing at inanity is better than screaming or crying, but why anything other than a shrug?

 

I know it was going for a lighter, comical feel, but it felt like there was barely any respect for either the Okinawans who were monitored in real life or the researchers who put the study together.

 

On a different topic, the folks behind the cheek firming stuff, Juvederm Voluma XC, are asses. "Apples may fall, but the apples of your cheeks don't have to!" Yet, it's only for ladies; sorry guys! Only ladies have to worry about how their cheeks are affected by tooth loss and age. Because guys can look like whatever the hell they want, but even in old age, us gals had best be firm and perky everywhere, even our cheeks!  Bonus? The stuff is made by the makers of" the #1 family of fillers!' That  makes me feel so much better. (I am for doing whatever is safe that helps you feel good about you, but the ad? Disses Newton and gravity in order to sell it's crap- to women only.)

 

It's the company that sells Latisse (fuller eyelashes), as well as Botox and breast implants. No, it's not trying to scare women into trying to look like a twentysomething for the rest of their lives- it's just trying to help them achieve a narrow definition of beauty! (Again, I am not against safe ways to help you feel good about yourself, but that isn't the focus of the ads, imo, just the cosmetic, as it were.) If these products were meant to help people, not just women, then there would be men shown as well, and the practical side of the products explained. Yes, guys gets lifts, fillers, and Botox, but I don't remember any targeted to men over thirty or showing men over fifty extolling the virtues of the products. (See also, Lifetime Lifts.)

 

And on behalf of lady dogs, I am hacked that the new flea and tick med in chewy treat form, NexGuard, has upheld the standard of not testing on half the market, like people doctors! The medicine, the sotto voce legalese reader informs us, hasn't been evaluated on pregnant, nursing or breeding dogs, as well as dogs with a history with seizures. I have a male and a female dog and the product sounded like an easier way to give them needed meds. Well, for one it might. Granted, my female is nine years old, so past any reproductive stuff, but why take a chance?  (As for those undiagnosed dogs who are rescues and have an incomplete background? Flip a coin?)  

If dogs are currently being experimented on for freaking human crap, why not for meds for themselves? Test cosmetics and shampoos and lord knows on the dogs, but we can't potentially have ill puppies? Or protect the moms better, if there are no dangerous-to-puppies  side-effects- which we don't know because there were no evaluations?

 

Sorry for the length, but these three have just got me steamed.

 

eta: I saw the ads again, I misidentified  the scientists from the Okinawa Life ad as wearing lab coats in the field. They were in setting-appropriate white button-up oxford shirts that were bright white and sharp enough to cut a tomato  and a 2 x 4 with. The older couple just giggle as they ride off from the scientists, and giggle and giggle....

Edited by Actionmage
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That Latiesse shit is scary.  You can have permanent discoloration of the eyes, etc. all just to have longer lashes.  

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I keep imagining this ad with that song, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" playing until the side effects disclaimers start. Then you hear the record-scratch sound, followed by disclaimer guy saying, "Actually, it's the other way around - rarely - but probably permanently. Ask your doctor blah, blah, blah."

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I wish some of the Tide commercials with Dad doing the laundry would show a wife in the background, indicating he's doing the laundry simply because it's as much his responsibility as it is hers, not that he's doing it by default because there is no little woman there to do her job.

 

Whenever I see the ad with the princess/sheriff daughter, I wonder if they don't show his spouse to leave it up to the viewer's interpretation what his background is, if his spouse is a wife or a husband or if he's a single dad.

 

I don't like Swifters but I did like that one of their ads had a couple where the wife was terrible at cleaning. I wish there was at least one more ad where a guy was the one good at cleaning.

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I'd like to see a household where the mom and dad share in the care of the kids and have no trouble gender-reversing chores (dad cooks dinner while mom mows the grass).

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That Latiesse shit is scary.  You can have permanent discoloration of the eyes, etc. all just to have longer lashes.  

Supposedly once you stop using it, you lose any benefit you might have gained but any ill effects are yours to keep forever.  Um... let me think about that.  My aesthatician (fancy word for eyebrow waxer person) suggested I use it to grow in some missing brow hairs.  I think I'll keep the little sparse spot.  I'm good.

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I don't think it will affect your eye color if you only use it on your brows. It has to actually get into the eye to change the color. That said, I'm pretty sure rogaine works on brows.

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I just noticed that KFC changed their one ad.  It has probably been changed for awhile and I just noticed.  It was maybe the second of the spots that revolve around a family at their dinner table with the mother being the main voice describing how the family finally can do dinner together.

 

In the one spot a Black couple and their two little kids sit beaming at their KFC dinner.... a bucket of chicken tenders.  That is it.  No sides.  No nothing.  I do not think it was intentional but from my front row seat in this handbasket to hell all I could think was REALLY?  Even if the family was another ethnicity I would have had a problem with just fried strips of meat as a meal, let alone one to be giddy over.  But the implications even unintended that this family was finally brought together in happiness by some fried chicken while amusing in a shake my head way, someone did not earn his pay imo.

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I feel that the reactions to these KFC commercials are more troubling than the ads themselves. I remember seeing this video a few years ago and thinking it was great. I really enjoyed the actor's dancing, enthusiasm and facial expressions. The product itself was of no consequence. I would have enjoyed it if he had Grape Nuts in his hand

 

 

Then I showed it to a friend who claimed it was racist because it was showing a black man enthusiastic about chicken. I mean, I see why his mind went there but I'm wondering if you did a study, how many people would find it problematic. Not to say that we're "post-race" or anything ridiculous like that. Obviously people have prejudices and discriminatory thoughts but I think they are sometimes in the eye of the beholder, not the ad itself. 

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I hate ALL of those KFC ads for normalizing laziness and nutritional stupidity. How the hell is 'convincing' your children to eat a 2000-calorie fried meal, with the only vegetable in sight a spoonful of cabbage encased in mayonnaise, suddenly a parenting accomplishment? What the fuck to these people normally eat? No wonder we have an obesity epidemic spiraling out of control.

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How has it been changed?

 

They added sides of course lol.

 

Actually they stopped airing that spot.  There is a new Black nuclear family with the full meal and slightly older kids who do more than mindlessly gnaw at a chicken strip.

 

I'm hardly trying to be the arbitrator of what is racist. But I can look at an ad and see the damn fool who was paid millions should perhaps vet things better.  I do not think something lazily crafted escapes the onus of falling into the trap of general perception no matter how innocent it was conceived.  Outside the industry of image, contrived perception and focuses message? Yes.  But in the land of Tweak?  Uh-unh.

Edited by heebiejeebie

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I just saw a Macy's 4th of July sale ad that is shocking in its whiteness. It's literally a bunch of white people white-people-dancing as American flags wave in the background. Not a single person of color in sight.

Edited by 90PercentGravity

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You are right.  The last few years Macys usually runs an ad with white couple and then one with a Black couple.  I always enjoyed seeing Andre Douglas in them as he was their go to male model for the black couple.  Trips more triggers for me than an NRA convention.

 

This year three different couples all white.

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That's strange, because they usually have a token person or two of color. [or, y'know, what @heebiejeebie just said while I was posting]. Last year's (or at least the one I saw on YouTube) had a white-as-snow family of four- perfectly balanced, of course, with one boy and one girl- and one light skinned African American woman.

Edited by St. Claire

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Yes, because we'd never realize those shorts had pockets otherwise. *rolleyes* Dumb ad.

Edited by riley702

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I just saw an ad for hotwire where a gay couple was talking about looking for a hotel so they could get away from the kid for a little rest.  One of them said, "For me, it's all about the sleep."  And his husband said, "Well, not *all* about the sleep."

 

It's nice that they thought they could go there.  I wonder how much complaining there will be.

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The macy's spot is online now: http://www.ispot.tv/...th-of-july-sale

 

I thought there was dancing, but there's not. It's just white people walking around with their hands in their pockets.

 

Only white people allowed to celebrate in their Macy's duds!!!  I'll be sure to let my daughter-in-law know she's not invited this year! :-( Gah!

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I don't think it will affect your eye color if you only use it on your brows. It has to actually get into the eye to change the color. That said, I'm pretty sure rogaine works on brows.

Thanks lol. I'm pretty sure if I don't get it in my eyes, my eyeballs will be fine.  I was more worried that it would stain my skin under my brows and then I'd look like those people who tattoo their eyebrows on.  I'm not sure if Rogaine is OK for faces (and I'm really missing just about 1/2 dozen little brows so not worth side effects) but supposedly, once you stop using it, all the hair it grew goes away.

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I hate ALL of those KFC ads for normalizing laziness and nutritional stupidity. How the hell is 'convincing' your children to eat a 2000-calorie fried meal, with the only vegetable in sight a spoonful of cabbage encased in mayonnaise, suddenly a parenting accomplishment? What the fuck to these people normally eat? No wonder we have an obesity epidemic spiraling out of control.

The reason I can't stand the KFC ads is because years ago, KFC was something you ate once in awhile.  I remember going to a friend's home for a sleepover and her mother called Chicken Delight, which was a local (I think) company in NYC, now this was in the 1960's.  I guess back then people fried their own chicken and since the sleepover was a special occasion, my friend's mom decided to order out.  

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I guess back then people fried their own chicken and since the sleepover was a special occasion, my friend's mom decided to order out.

Or she was just lazy.   :)

Edited by Maverick
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Or she was just lazy.   :)

Maybe; but the point was that back then, people didn't eat crap like KFC all the time, and if they did eat take out, at least they had real veggies to go with it.  

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"Are you a woman with chronic feminine discomfort...down there?" 

 

Seriously, there's a subtle pause between 'discomfort' and 'down there' each time this is used. It's hard to tell exactly what they meant by "feminine discomfort", but in the end I'm left assuming it's post-menopausal dry vag cream.  

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"Down there"?  "V"? 

 

Christ, advertising execs; it's bad enough you market useless products designed to convince women their vaginas are dirty netherworlds in need of special, industrial-level cleaning, but it's made even more annoying by the fact you feel compelled to resort to these ridiculous euphemisms.  It's a body part, not Beetlejuice; it won't come to life and torment you if you say its name.

Edited by Bastet
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"Are you a woman with chronic feminine discomfort...down there?"
Where else would "feminine discomfort" be besides down there?  I mean, I can't imagine anyone calling breast tenderness "feminine discomfort."
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"Down there"?  "V"? 

 

Christ, advertising execs; it's bad enough you market useless products designed to convince women their vaginas are dirty netherworlds in need of special, industrial-level cleaning, but it's made even more annoying by the fact you feel compelled to resort to these ridiculous euphemisms.  It's a body part, not Beetlejuice; it won't come to life and torment you if you say its name.

 

I really agree with this.  I hate those commercials because if you vagina stinks that much, you should go to the gynecologist, STAT.

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Macy's does show a woman of color, looking all joyful and carrying a bag in each hand. However, she is only pictured in the emails I get for electronic statements and the "thank you for making a payment." So, yeah, there is lots of room for improvement.

Edited by Scout Finch

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The reason I can't stand the KFC ads is because years ago, KFC was something you ate once in awhile.  I remember going to a friend's home for a sleepover and her mother called Chicken Delight, which was a local (I think) company in NYC, now this was in the 1960's.  I guess back then people fried their own chicken and since the sleepover was a special occasion, my friend's mom decided to order out.  

Don't cook tonight!  Call Chicken Delight!  There are some old commercials on YouTube but the ones I found don't have sound (or it's my laptop).

 

I'm not sure I had any Chicken Delight but growing up on Long Island, we did have our Pudgies!

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I hate ALL of those KFC ads for normalizing laziness and nutritional stupidity. How the hell is 'convincing' your children to eat a 2000-calorie fried meal, with the only vegetable in sight a spoonful of cabbage encased in mayonnaise, suddenly a parenting accomplishment? What the fuck to these people normally eat? No wonder we have an obesity epidemic spiraling out of control.

That's why they infuriate me, too.  I love fried chicken, I let my kids eat crap occasionally, but under no circumstances would I consider it a major dietary and family-togetherness victory if I brought home a bucket of fried food.  I mean seriously -- what kind of home life do these families have?

Edited by beadgirl
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Don't cook tonight!  Call Chicken Delight!  There are some old commercials on YouTube but the ones I found don't have sound (or it's my laptop).

 

I'm not sure I had any Chicken Delight but growing up on Long Island, we did have our Pudgies! 

We had Chicken Delight on the wesr coast. It was pretty good and, yep, it was special occasions. 

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