is scaring women in real life a new advertising schtick? how about evoking serial killers and amateur porn? i guess so, judging by these ads. i found these to be deeply troubling and anxiety-producing, which doesnt make me want to eat, and it doesnt make me want to take long deep breaths of freshness (or of anything). so what do these ads for yoplait yogurt and febreze “fabric refresher” accomplish, who are they targeting, and why?
the above ad features two women being scared shitless by some dood that
jumps out at them menacingly appears unexpectedly from inside a vending machine. the women respond with observable fear, including quick, involuntary muscle movements, vocalizing and retreating. dood speaks to them as if nothing out of the ordinary has happened using a calm tone and not acknowledging what he just did. one woman is then given food to eat, and is given praise for eventually “smiling”, a facial expression which is notably absent during the entire exchange. (is this real? who knows.)
heres another ad for yoplait in the same vein:
febreze has taken a similar approach to hawking its chemical brew: they blindfold women, bring them into unexpected places under false pretenses designed to invoke terror, and then film the womens response. again, i dont know if this is real or not, but the effect is extremely anxiety-producing as we observe women being duped, frightened, then mocked, and soothed. the sets used in the febreze commercials are also evocative of serial killers and amateur porn: one features copius amounts of carved meat, blood and bone, while another resembles a filthy basement dungeon filled with dangerous animals and dirty linens (and a porn-tastic three-cushion couch! oh goody!)
here, have a seat on this filthy disgusting couch (it has three cushions!!!1!1!) thats been god knows where! follow our instructions while blindfolded! there are numerous potentially dangerous animals in the room, including a dog. oh, you dont like dogs? oh well.
interestingly, that one is done documentary-style, and during the after-interview one of the women admits feeling “violated” by the whole process (while the other reveals that she doesnt feel violated, because shes a “good sport”.) violating women to the point that they actually admit to feeling violated! yay! now thats good advertising, whether its real or not.
heres another one: following in the same vein evoking serial killers and porn, this one features cut-up animals and blood. i also was left with the distinct impression of knives being there, like, everywhere, but when i watched it over again, i didnt actually see any. i guess the meat was carved with a wet noodle, or a tulip (or perhaps the animal’s corpse was dismembered by one of the chopsticks in the sink?) interestingly, i dont see a single sharp object in this entire kitchen, which strikes me as bizarre, because clearly this scenario involves the use and presence of knives, but they have been removed, or hidden. why? would it have gone too far to blindfold women and bring them into a dank secluded meat-porn dungeon and to then also have them surrounded by knives? did someone decide this? i wonder.
does anyone see a single knife in this kitchen?
to round it out, heres one from woolite that perhaps even more-obviously evokes serial killers and porn, in advertising allegedly targeting women and creating consumerist-desire. in case there was any lingering doubt that this is now a “thing” in modern advertising. apparently, it is.
women being humiliated, terrorized, then mocked, and soothed. these emotionally-charged scenarios being combined with an orchestrated/forced evaluation of desire, needs and wants (consumerism). us being targeted in this way in our own living rooms, with the full physiological cycle of engagement, arousal and resolution taking place in as little as 17-seconds (but the effects linger much longer). more of the death-by-a-thousand-cuts that women experience daily, at the hands of patriarchal institutions and male-centric culture, as well as actually moving product off the shelf. i find it overwhelming in its evil-ingenuity that advertising must do and be both of these things, but it must, mustnt it? it only benefits men that we are constantly, constantly reminded that we are targets of sexualized violence; that we are shocked, poked, and prodded, and subjected to adrenaline-rushes and unable to relax anywhere, at any time, so long as theres a television on. and it benefits all men, including the ones selling stuff, that we process all of this in the context of consumerism: desire, protectionism, and fulfillment.
clearly, the intent here isnt *just* to move product, but also to reproduce “gender” and dom/sub in a tangible way, by subjecting us to the toxic chemical brew that bubbles up when we are afraid, and giving men boners as they watch. these things change and affect us, physically. this is intentional. its not just “sexist” its actually much, much worse.