Okay, it’s once again (for better or worse) holiday shopping time, so, of course, there’s an onslaught of advertising for the many things we can buy. There are things for decorating, gifting and eating. But, the ads look different — or maybe more familiar? — to me this year.
After years of seeing advertising aimed at same-sex couples, a la Ikea, mixed-race couples (McDonald’s, Home Depot, etc.) and folks of all ages, I’m seeing a plethora of ads aimed specifically at women. Okay, it’s the holiday season and women shop, so no big deal, right? What’s different? Maybe it’s just me (I don’t think so), but there’s a trend this year of dumbing down ads aimed at women and, in a number of cases, making women seem childish and silly.
Acme markets (a division of SuperValu, I believe) is playing ads in the Philadelphia area featuring singing fruits and vegetables. I wonder how many women are rushing out to the Acme because a singing pepper is telling them the food is fresh? I, for one, find the singing produce creepy. More offensive to me are the Pier One ads where glitzy drinking glasses chant, “party, party, party…!” and the women in the ad not only hear it, but seemingly can’t resist. Worse even, is their ad featuring a stuffed penguin that speaks to a woman about being huggable and, again, she’s powerless.
Clearly, these companies are acknowledging the purchasing power women have on their own and in their families. Why, then, portray them as childish and easily led? Where’s the pressure to play both sides — giving women power with the dollar while simultaneously taking away their intellect and free will — coming from? Who decided this trend was a good idea? The companies? The ad firms?
It’s not making me want to buy anything. I hope no one else is falling for it.