Steel City Cowboy

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Casual Misandry in Home Depot's Ad Department

Radio commercial from the way into work this morning:

[Sung] "It's all inside..." [Sears]

[Narrator] "Here's a thirty-second shopping tip from us to you..."

[cell phone rings -- all voices are through cell-sounding connection]

[Woman] "Hi honey!"

[Man] "Hey. What're you looking at?"

[Woman, in stupified, amazed voice] "Shoes. You should see these shoes."

[Man] "Ummm... didn't we agree we were here to get a washing machine?"

[Woman, still mesmerized] "Yeah, but these pumps... I already have your credit card in my hand..."

[Man] "Can those shoes do our laundry?"

[Woman, reluctantly] "I'll be right over."

[Sung] "It's all inside..."


Really bizarre, no?

Well, as you probably figured out about halfway through, that's not a real radio spot. How did you figure that out? There's no way that would ever make it on the air.

In reality, the spot was one for Home Depot in the exact same format in which a man slavers and drools over a new grill, while his wife sticks to the practical plan of finding the washing machine they agreed to. The bit about the credit card wasn't in there, but I thought it worked on the same level of stereotyping: men are stupid, easily-distracted beasts who only like shiny grills and meat vs. women are vapid, easily-distracted shopoholics who live to spend their husbands' future earnings on new shoes.

So, beyond the fact that this scenario simply doesn't happen (I mean, come on... when was the last time a guy wanted to, you know, detour shop when there was a clear plan for getting in and out of a store, while the gal was on an efficient one-product-only retail mission?), what's wrong with this ad?

The answer's obvious, of course. Why is it okay to make fun of guys in advertising and not the ladies? I know this has been talked about for a while now, but I was hoping that maybe it was a phase that these uncreative "creative" types were going through and that it would have pooped itself out by now. Apparently I was wrong.

I'm not saying that I think the above fake ad is okay. It's not. It's uncreative, dumb and not funny. I'm just saying that the real ad shouldn't have seen the light of day for the same reasons.

I think I'll start a website entirely devoted to putting up counter-ads to the large proportion of ads that use the "guy as dope" cliche to sell their service. I'll have to put scans of Berenstain Bears books on there too, with the text rewritten to reflect a broader reality of family life than just "Mom's are always smart and oh-so-wise, the kids are not far behind, but Dad's little better than an ex-convict with ADHD and an active meth habit."

So thanks, Home Depot, for taking casual shots at the very group of people who provide more revenue to your company than all other groups combined. Geniuses running that place, I tell you.

Labels: ,


  • At 5/24/2007 11:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Misandry is covered quite a bit at this blog:

    Nice to see someone else starting to notice misandry in our culture. I see it everywhere, and yet when I point it out I'm told to get over it, or that I'm too sensitive, etc.

    When are we going to hold modern women accountable for their actions?

    You sound like a man going your own way. Peace.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home