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Why Would I Buy that Now?: Offensive Commercials

Have you ever seen a commercial that makes you wonder who could possibly have thought that it was a good idea to air it? I definitely have, and I’m fairly certain other women have, too, considering how many offensive and ridiculous commercials are out there. I think these commercials are at their most absurd when they advertise products made for or targeted at women, yet use appeals that offend women and would really only entice or interest a man. So they’ve essentially pissed off their target audience and made a couple of men happy. I’m not an advertising executive by any means, but I really don’t think that’s supposed to be the goal. The commercials I’ve listed here are some that I think fit this absurd, backwards description very well.

Reebok EasyTones

I’m not even sure where to begin with this one. First of all, when is the last time any of you have just been hanging out in your bed with only boy shorts and your sneakers on? I don’t know what you’ve heard, Reebok, but that’s not something that we do. We also don’t work out just to make “88% of men speechless and 76% of women jealous.” Sometimes, oddly enough, we do it for ourselves.

The commercial never even shows this woman’s face, and most of the ads in this campaign don’t. They show bodies. The other popular ad for the sneakers is a series of close up shots of women’s backsides as they dance. So Reebok has not only failed to show women actually working out or doing anything, but they’ve also reduced us to mere body parts. Thanks, I always knew all those people that said women were much more than that were just lying.

Victoria’s Secret “I Love My Body”

This ad campaign had to have been made for men. I’m not sure why, though, because most of them are not frequent Victoria’s Secret shoppers, but there is no other explanation for it. I don’t know any woman that wants to get up and go to Victoria’s Secret after having Adriana Lima tell you she loves her body. I don’t care if she’s actually talking about her bra when she says it, it’s extremely annoying either way.

My favorite part is probably when the camera pans over all of the models and you hear, “there’s a body for everybody.” Are those women supposed to be everybody? Last time I checked, everybody doesn’t look like that. In fact, nobody does. These women are referred to as angels, which is ridiculous yet fitting, because as far as I’m concerned, they are not human. So why are you showing us them, Victoria? Most women shop at your store anyway, despite the fact that you are practically mocking us every time we turn on the TV. So please, please come up with something else.

Swiffer Wet Jet

I saw this commercial for Swiffer Wet Jet this summer and I couldn’t believe it. It’s not as outwardly ridiculous as the other commercials I’ve mentioned, but it’s certainly just as offensive. It shows a woman in her kitchen after she’s finished cleaning her floors with this fantastic alternative mop. She then becomes ecstatic when she realizes that since she is done, she has the time to drink her cup of coffee on the porch. If I ever reach a point in my life where the act of drinking a cup of coffee outside becomes a privilege, I will know that something has gone very, very wrong.

Maybe this woman could drink her coffee on the porch a little more often if her husband took the Swiffer off her hands once in a while. Or maybe the advertisers could have had her enjoying the time-saving qualities of the product because she had a job, which unbeknownst to these advertisers, women do have sometimes.

So I propose the next time you see a woman on TV mopping their floor with an expression of sheer bliss on her face, lounging around in her sneakers with no clothes on, or telling you she loves her size -00 body, that you take action. Promptly turn of the TV, proudly drink a cup of coffee wherever the hell you want, put on your normal sneakers, and tell her that you love your body too.

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