Sexism & Marketing

It’s that time of year when many companies spend an awful lot of money on the production of ‘the perfect ad’ for Christmas. We’ve seen everything in the past…there’s the big budget, catchy jingle of the Coca Cola ad, this year’s low budget Waitrose ad, the ‘all out’ ads from some of the UK’s biggest retailers. I love it. I love seeing how they pitch themselves against each other, try to be bigger, better and improve over last year. One ad that stands out this year is a certain retail chain – ASDA.

If you’ve not seen the ad, I suggest you watch it and make your own judgements before reading further.

I have to admit I watched the clip thinking of how Christmas plays out at home. Growing up Mum did everything – well, mum, gran, me and my sister. If Christmas had been left for dad to organise, we would have had chips & egg for lunch. There’d have been no presents, no decorations and no feast of special treats. So, I’m very surprised to see the furore over the ASDA ad in the newspapers and online publications.

Is it a piece of sexist marketing? Or is it just what happens at home?

I wonder whether it’s a generation game? My mum likes the ad, thinks it is true to life. Other, younger friends think it is sexist and the message is wrong. But, what about the other folk for whom the ‘mum’ figure represents the person/people who get the bulk of the work and preparation done for Christmas?

It’s tongue it cheek. It’s how Christmas will happen in many households. Mum will do most of the work, while the kids, relatives and other family talk/play/relax in another room. Dinner will be a feast at a table that has been ‘assembled’ for the occasion. Mum (and others) will likely clear up. Finally she’ll get to relax only to be asked about tea. Yep. That’s how it is. It’s not meant to offend. It’s not meant to be sexist.

If it makes you feel better, take out the mum figure, replace her with the person at your house that gets it all done. Does that work?


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