Watch this

Advertizing in the streets of Brussels. Did it not bother anyone at the advertizing agency (or at Esprit) that she is not even wearing a watch while advertizing it? There’s gotta be more creative ways to sell this…

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Perfume ads

A co-worker sent me this photo he took on the busy streets of Brussels. It is a perfume ad featuring Uma Thurman in a seductive pose. (Remember this?)

I wonder, why do 99% of perfume ads need to show (barely dressed) women in such poses and usually open mouths? Do advertisers think this will make women buy the perfume hoping that we might look like Uma if we spray it on, or is this targeted at men because they are “supposed to” buy these as gifts for us (while maybe secretly hoping we do turn into Uma if we spray it on)?

Just for the fun of it, I did a Google search on ‘perfume ad’ images. Here is the (not so surprising) result.

Shoes and boobs

I am pretty sure Converse knows the answer to what the links is between shoes for men and female breasts… How sad from a brand that otherwise desperately tries to project the image of being hip. This is all you got??? Total lack of creativity. (By the way, while we are at it, why does she even need to wear panties? Hypocrites.)

Notbuyingit – a hashtag, an app, a movement

After the mobile app against street harassment, here is the next one: this time against sexism in the media. Based on the idea that the consumer makes the ultimate choice in our society by voting with her money, Missrepresentation.org believes we have the right and opportunity to talk back and influence the media we buy. Can we teach the media a lesson and demand a change in how women are represented? Can we together put pressure on certain companies and make them produce different ads? And if at all, will a mobile app help in this?

The NotBuyingIt app is a project initiated by the people behind Missrepresentation who are are partnering with body image experts at Emer.ge to create a mobile app to fight sexist and damaging media and celebrate the positive. It is asserted that 3 out of 4 teen girls feel depressed, guilty and shameful after spending just 3 minutes looking through a fashion magazine. (These seem to be the US stats – but surely cannot be far from the European ones. If we have stats on this at all.)

So how did this idea came about? During the 2013 Super Bowl (the most watched and tweeted about media event of the year in the United Stated) the #NotBuyingIt hashtag was used by thousands and it became a trending topic on Twitter.

For the skeptics, here are some of the past successes from the MissRepresentation website this hashtag has had on Twitter:

  • Pressured Amazon.co.uk to remove a line of t-shirts promoting rape in under 24 hours
  • Forced America’s leading Halloween costume seller to change how it markets girls’ costumes
  • Pressured a solar company to rescind a sexist ad campaign and delete their Facebook page
  • Helped get Hallmark to remove a sexist greeting card in under 24 hours
  • Helped get two children’s books that promoted gender stereotypes removed from the shelves of Harrod’s in London in under 24 hours

So how will the app work? “Using GPS technology we will pinpoint where the worst advertising is coming from and which communities are most active in fighting back. You’ll have the ability to document all the billboards and posters impacting your local community, putting pressure on brands and local officials to respond. Our scoreboard will keep track of progress in real time, ranking which products are deemed most sexist by the community and which ones we support.”

MissRepresentation has launched a campaign on Indiegogo, where you have 7 days left (till April 28) to contribute to the making of the app. Doubtful? Here is a quick motivational video 🙂

An oldie but goldie

A few years ago, when I was working for a television company that had many niche channels in its portfolio (among them a cooking channel), we received an invitation to the “grand opening” of a new candy shop/ patisserie in downtown Budapest because we featured their cakes previously in one of our shows.

O p e n i n g  party. I did not find it funny then, and I don’t find it funny now – I have found it quite offensive in fact. #notbuyingit, Sugar Shop.

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(I will discuss the hashtag in another post in detail, but here is more info from the Missrepresentation website: “People worldwide are using hashtag #NotBuyingIt to call-out sexism in the media. Let the media know: sexism won’t sell. Use #NotBuyingIt on Twitter to challenge the misrepresentation of women and girls.”)