Marketing aimed at the ladies is easy to spot. There are usually three types of women - the shopping obsessed party girl, the sad-sack singleton or the frazzled housewife (and please be sure to note, the only time you'll see women aged over 50 is in funeral insurance ads).
It's all about aspiration, indulgence and euphemism. Ad land is a world where when a woman chooses to purchase a car her foremost concerns are if the vehicle comes in metallic pink and has a passenger side storage compartment for her stilettos - not things like mileage, reliability or price.
So here's our imagining of what advertisements aimed at women might look like if the focus was on being 100 per cent BS free, instead of 100 per cent fat free...
What they say: Bar soap is for coarse and unladylike women. Use this and your skin will become so soft that people will start to mistake it for a pillow and begin taking naps on you. You will grow to enjoy it.
What they should say: We are very glad that the fancy packaging and taglines about 'treating yourself' have convinced you to swap from soap to body wash. Now you will spend twice as much for a product that lasts the same amount of time just so you can smell a bit more floral.
What they say: Mmm - soup! It's the pick-me-up snack for ladies on the days they don't want yoghurt! Isn't this just what you want at 3pm as you re-do a project because your boss didn't properly clarify the initial parameters? No? You want a packet of plain salt chips and a packet of cheese Twisties so you can make tiny sodium sandwiches with the crisps as the 'bread' and the Twisties as the 'filling'? Well, we only have soup. No, it's not pumpkin. It's tomato. Enjoy.
What they should say: This would be the perfect eating solution if you lived in a world where you could only eat food or drink liquid. Imagine some sort of weird YA novel where for some unspecified reason that was a crucial plot point. What? You live in a realm where you can have both food and drink? Well, wait until the Souptopian Uprising of 2023 and perhaps you won't be so snobby in your disdain for drinky foods, my fickle friend.
What they say: These will not at all make you feel like you're wearing a nappy. Seriously, no one can tell you have one on. Stop being so paranoid already! But maybe skip the jeggings for today, Puffy Pants.
What they should say: We will confusingly label one UltraThin and one Invisible, but then say that Invisible is the thinnest product available. It's a paradox of packaging, indeed. Every single time you will sit there poring over the packet like it's a Margaret Atwood novel, but never will you walk away feeling any the wiser.
Also we will put a tiny symbol in the corner to communicate if the pads are wings or non-wings, instead of making the containers completely different colours. In your menstrual haze, you will purchase the wrong one 23 per cent of the time and have to sit on the toilet raggedly hacking off the stupid wings with nail scissors LIKE A SAVAGE. If Girl Guides had a badge for DIY pad modification, you would be in possession of it.
What they say: This is such a terribly wicked indulgence! How sinful and decadent it is to be eating anything with even a touch of chocolate! It is pure evil temptation in snack food form.
What they should say: You want to eat some chocolate? Well, we have white, milk and dark. You can have some with almonds or with sea salt or with blueberries or with orange. Eating this particular food in no way reflects anything about your morality - it's just chocolate.
What they say: If you join the gym you will probably, nay definitely, end up looking like a Victoria's Secret model or Britney Spears circa her midriff flashing and snake carrying era.
What they should say: If we made a graph of your gym attendance over your membership, it would resemble a U. First you'll start off full of enthusiasm, but that fervour will fade quickly as you realise spin classes make you feel like you're going to hurl. During the middle period, you will manage to put out of your mind all the money you are wasting. This will be the most enjoyable period. Then as the end looms, you will find a final burst of energy to attend, not one, not three, but two (!) Pilates classes in a week. Congratulations, you have now ended up paying an average of $37.55 per gym visit.
- Daily Life
Is it ever OK to complain about other people's kids?Related story: (See story)