What women want

November 12, 2007 at 9:33 am (abuse against women, advertising) (, , , , , , , , , )

Do advertisers think we’re stupid? Really man – do they think all women are brainless tits with nothing more than childbearing capabilities?

I’m starting to believe that’s the case. Just take these three ads. If you’re familiar with them, you don’thave to read the descriptions. Just give your comments on what you think of them.

I’m almost sure there is not a single woman on the teams who created these ads (bar those acting in the actual ad) – and if there are, shame on them for being part of such garbage.

I just wish I knew how many women still go out and buy the stuff based on the rubbish we’re fed on our screens.

1. Nivea Cellulite ad

Most vomit-inducing of the three – five or so girls sing an annoying song about how happy and great their lives are now they’re cellulite free. The Sex-in-the-Cityish vibe shows these women are carefree, flitting about in revealing clothes and being happy because their bodies are now perfect.
Firstly, they look as if they’ve never had cellulite in their entire lives.
Secondly, the fine print on the ad is so ridiculously small and flashes away so quickly that I’m sure it reveals a crucial fact (such as this study/statistic/fact was found in a study of three women. So two people saying they like it would be something like 75% women love it or some other crap like that).
Thirdly, why are we still perpetuating the myth that those cellulite creams work and that we need to be cellulite-free to be beautiful?
And lastly, why do we create ads for men when we’re selling stuff for women?

2. Kellogg’s Special K muesli

Unbelievable. Not as in this-is-unbelievably-great. More as in this-is-such-crap-I-can’t-believe-they-made-it. In the ad a woman has been dumped by her boyfriend.
Her friends rally around as she laments, “He’s just not that into me.” In a twist on the classic stuffing her face after she’s been dumped thing, the friends hand Crying Carla a bowl of muesli. Presumably, this is supposed to perk her up in a way that the comfort food would have done.
In the next screen we see the dumpee “looking and feeling great” in a red dress dismissing her former beau with a flick of her blonde ponytail.

Geez. . . nobody with half a braincell would buy this bullshit. Nobody.

3. Zoot “unscripted” veet ad

It’s unscripted. Riiiggghtt. The two women in this ad (I think the one’s from Survivor and the other is Irene but can’t be 100% sure) discussing the great things Veet hair removal cream can do. It works for all skin types, the one gushes, so I’m recommending it to all my friends.
I know for a fact that’s nonsense because it burnt my skin badly but that’s not what sticks in my craw. It’s the little line that says “this is an unscripted advertisement” that made me think these people really are taking us for a gat.

I mean really, come the fuck on.

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So unimpressed

July 31, 2007 at 8:17 am (advertising, annoying)

“I’m so impressed daaahling.”
I swear I’m going to lose my mind if I hear those words or see that Harpic ad again. The two men and Mrs Zogby makes me want to slit every slittable part of my body.
There’s just no justification for making this ad. It’s ugly, dumb and doesn’t even have the decency to try for the so-bad-it’s-good tag.
It must be the worst ad on TV right now (even worse than the Firestone ad). Why, why, why?

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Heart problems

July 18, 2007 at 9:20 am (advertising, Heart104.9, radio)

Does anyone else in Cape Town who listens to Heart think the overzealous promotion of their Heart taxis is like the worst thing they’ve ever done (apart from fire Aidan that is)?
I am so naar of those ads that I’ve started listening to Good Hope even though I don’t particularly like them.

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Radio sluts

July 3, 2007 at 10:35 am (advertising, annoying, news&media)

I’m not a big fan of the radio but I listened a lot last week while lazing in bed. And this is what irked me most: do they really think presenters/journos reading ads are doing anyone any favours?
Shame for those poor dudes. I mean, how can you take someone seriously when they’re rattling off a jingle before tackling the next serious news topic?

And do the big bosses realise what they’re doing their news readers/journos/presenters by forcing them to do this?

I say force because surely there’s no way a self-respecting news person would want to read those ads.
I know it happens in print but at least the journo doesn’t have to give their name to an advertorial (not sure if this is better or worse!) but on radio there’s no denying that the same person who’s asking X,Y or Z serious questions is voicing an ad for, say, washing powder or something equally arb.
Commercial interests are important, yes. A station/newspaper/magazine can’t run on ethics alone but surely they can afford to pay a few more rand to get someone else to do it.
What the big bosses fail to realise (and it makes you wonder how smart they are for doing so) is that it is not better to give your serious people an ad to do.
It does not make the product sell better. All it does is disgust the listener and makes them lose respect for the voice behind the ad/news bulletin.
But I guess they don’t care as long as they get the cash. Let’s see how that works out in the long run.

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Feeling cartoony

June 20, 2007 at 8:01 am (advertising)

What is up with all the bad animated ads we’re seeing on TV now? It’s like a creepy bad rash: one spot starts then, without any warning, it’s soon all over the place.
An (badly animated) elephant with a centipede as a son? C’mon people. Seriously?

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An ad that’s more stone than fire

June 4, 2007 at 9:37 am (advertising)

Oh. My. Soul. Never, never, never have I been so shocked by an ad. And, for those of you who’ve been reading my blog or know me, I’ve seen many an ad that has me in tears of despair. No, this is the shockiest shocking ad ever.
A blonde mommy-type hanging out of a caravan singing a ditty for the Firestone ad in the worst imaginable voice. Think Idols at its worst, then multiply it by 1 000. I can’t imagine how they could’ve thought this would be a good ad. Or was the budget so tight they couldn’t get someone who could carry an even reasonable tone?
There’s simply no way they could believe this would be a positive representation of their brand. And if they do, well, then they have nobody but themselves to blame if Firestone becomes more stone than fire. I hope they at least paid her lots of money to make such a fool of her herself.
PS: Kudos to MTN for their kickass TV ads. The clap-clap one is especially good. It makes me really wanna start something.

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So sad for Soli

May 22, 2007 at 8:06 am (advertising)

Is it just me or is Soli Philander stretching himself a bit thin with all the ads he’s doing? And hello, a little less overkill would do wonders for credibility.
I happen to like Soli and think he’s a really nice guy. I’ve met him a few times and he really is sweet but someone should tell him that if you’re appearing in several ads with the same distinctive dramatic flair you’re not making a point about anything.
Take the Vodacom guy. You don’t see him hanging in other ads whether it’s about Blueteeth or not. Or the Quentin Chong looking his yummy self in anything other than the Shut-up-Bob ad (Getz).
I’m sure making the extra wad of cash is good for the funny guy’s wallet but some things are just not worth it. Just ask Noeleen…

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A smoky, hazy memory

April 26, 2007 at 8:07 am (advertising, wellbeing)

There it was. A pack of smokes resting in the centre of the glossy page of the magazine. It looked beautifully styled (if you can imagine a pack of styled ciggies, that is).
It looked odd and out of place. It jarred the senses and was immediately noticeable; not because of the luscious pink and blank background but because it just looked out of place in a woman’s magazine.
But before the ailing Manto gets wind of this, let me explain. I was reading an international mag (one of the perks of my job) and there it was: a pack of Camels. Light and luscious, read the tagline.
I thought about my instantaneous reaction to it (I usually ignore ads completely) and wondered why I’d even registered the ad. Then realised it’s because it seemed so unusual.
See, I am young enough to not have been exposed to many of them but old enough to remember the ads of the Marlboro Man and Co. It just seems weird to see cigarette advertising now so I guess old Manto got her way – no more corrupting the youth with this sexy stuff.
Do you remember the times when people could smoke in malls, taxis, busses, offices, etc? I wasn’t even smoking by the time the bans were put in place but remember my mom being very PO’d when she couldn’t get her fix while doing her weekly grocery shopping. When she got that look my sister and I would split – you do not want to get in the way of a nicotine-starved mom with a trolley on a Friday night…
Anyway, even though I’m smoker, I think it was the best thing she of the beetroot/garlic wisdom could’ve done. I’m all for taking charge of your body and messing it up if you want but I do feel bad when I see non-smokers battling against the white curls when they’re exposed.
What I’m trying to figure out now, though, is why I still see nine-year-old kids bumming a cigarette (Wat? Is jy befok? Dra jy nie nog ’n nappy nie?!) and trying to look grown-up. A fat lot of good banning the ads did for them.
Maybe our Minister of Madness should insist all smokes be infused with garlic and lemon from this day on…

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I have boobs and bums

April 24, 2007 at 8:44 pm (advertising, annoying, diets, exercise, fat rolls, weight, wellbeing)

I’m a big, loathsome fatass.
At least that’s what some women’s magazines would have me believe (more about that in a different post later). Apparently being anything over a size 10 is a social crime akin to saying you lust after your brother. At least I haven’t reached that level of depravity, right?
Anyway, back to the weight and my new issues with it. Rossgen and I hit the stores because she needed to look fabulicious (her word) for a function she had to attend. I have a wedding to attend so thought I’d try on a few things while in the shop. MISTAKE!
Not since the days when I sulked out of Hilton Weiner’s child-sized-clothing stores have I felt so bad about my body. I mean, hello: I have bums and boobs; a bit of cushioning on the hip and long limbs. Am I such a freak that no store has clothes that fit me?
Apart from the obvious “shall I take a 12/14/16 because they’re never the same”, anything that looks remotely stylish only comes in sizes 10 and below. And when I do fit on a size 12/14 it looks like a sausage caught in it’s skin when you’re frying it in a pan. Yuck.
Now, of course, you could say, um, Toby, maybe it’s because you’re “well-endowed”? Well-endowed my ass. I am a normal, healthy (ok, so I’m semi-healthy because I smoke and eat junk) young woman.
I have a healthy BMI of 22,5 according to the Mayo Clinic (click on Metric to get our measurements). I have normal curves and I’m quite happy with them so why can’t all those losers who make clothes try and make me spend my money?
Do they have any idea how starved curvy women are for nice clothes that fit – here’s a whole untapped industry I say. And African lasses don’t want the skinny tie-me-to-a-pole-so-I-don’t-blow-away kind of waists.
Unless of course I’m in the minority in which case I’ll just have to fume and continue my search for a good tailor/dressmaker to cover my bootylicious body.

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The biggest boob

April 10, 2007 at 6:45 am (advertising, bimbo, cricket World Cup, patronising, sexist, VW Jetta)

There are currently two ads competing for my Ad I Hate Most award. The first is probably going to be off soon as it’s Cricket World Cup related.
If you’re not sure which one I’m talking about check in between matches – patriotic music playing in the background while our boys get dressed; fans waving flags and then…some bimbo sliding on a SA top while doing the requisite hair flip.
After Graham, Polly, Ntini and co have run (slow motion no less) down the passage we see girlfriend jiggling up and down so her ample cleavage can be shown across the nation. Nice.
The second one, which is definitely getting my knickers in a well-defined knot, is the VW Jetta ad where the loser asshole calls his date telling her he’s on his way then gets “caught” in a carnival. He then proceeds to shake it with all the scantily clad women while his date waits. Hours (I presume) later he rocks up at her house, and she, only after seeing his car, lets him in.
This is 2007 yet we still see this sexist bullshit on our screens. In a country where staying alive is an achievement this is a small thing to be irked about but, dammit, I get into a furious frenzy every time I see it. I can’t believe women are still treated as brainless bimbos who are only good for jiggling what their mama’s gave them and being so shallow they’d let a guy get away with anything because they have a cool car.I’m preparing to go to war.

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