July 17, 2006

Women, know your limits

Frankly, I couldn’t be bothered uploading the Minstrels ad onto YouTube (see previous post), because I loathe it. Even I, old chauvinist that I am, find it unbearable. It's the implied simple-mindedness of the chocolate-munching heroine that I can't stand. To non-Brits unfamiliar with the ad, take it from me that you’re not missing anything.
Copyranter, in a response to my Beauty and Brains post, led me to part of an interesting website which makes a case, with plenty of pictures (always a good thing), against the poor representation of women in advertising.
Even the supposed backswing of the pendulum, where men take a pounding and are made to appear comically downtrodden or wimpish, doesn’t wash. Advertising, a much maligned industry at the best of times, should not be targeting for ridicule any group of people regardless of whether they are a minority or a majority. Any agency that uses this approach is doing its client a disservice. Ultimately it is relegating the integrity of the advertised brand in the jaded eyes of the consumer.

Several years ago the English comedian Harry Enfield made this brilliant public service announcement spoof that sought to warn women against the perils of showing any hint of intelligence. In my opinion it’s his best ever sketch because although it is mocking the attitudes of post-war Britain, it still seems valid today.

See also: Women, know your place, which leads to a genuine Kelloggs ad from the 1950s, and probably Harry Enfield’s inspiration.

Tags: Advertising industry, Human behaviour, Spoof, TV ads


Anonymous said...

It was a classic sketch, and probably just as funny now as ever.

SchizoFishNChimps said...

It's just a shame that he forgot how to be funny

Anonymous said...

Its called Sky One syndromer I think ;)