Posted by Rosepixie on May 14, 2010
Today I have an ad from 1949 for a toilet cleaner called Vanish that I found on a blog.
The text reads:
Social Security Hint
Don’t let the “Ghost of the Past” cast reflections on you!
A “ghost” in your bathroom is socially distressing. For sure protection against him, use Vanish, the double-action toilet bowl cleaner that (1) deodorizes (2) as it cleans. Its bubbling action spreads a pleasant fragrance.
New Vanish kills toilet odors as it cleans
The “social security” pun was bad enough, but the drawing makes it look almost like the woman was about to draw on the bathroom mirror with lipstick when she was startled by the ghost holding (weirdly) a miniature outhouse. Why a miniature outhouse? Because they traditionally smell bad? It still seems weird and I had to look at it twice to be sure that I was seeing it correctly.
I think this ad is on the right track, it just sort of missed the mark a little bit. I actually think the social security joke is perhaps a little too subtle and the drawing is just too busy and strange. The rest of the text paired with a simple graphic of the can would have been much better! Still, it’s definitely interesting and caught my attention.
Posted in Home, Vintage | Tagged: 1940s, cleaning, print-ad, toilet-cleaner, vanish | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Rosepixie on March 25, 2010
Last year was Mr. Clean’s fiftieth birthday and to celebrate, the company ran a series of ads based on the belief that women have some kind of romantic attachment to him. Here’s an example:
Other examples of ads from this campaign pretty much looked the same, but the background color varied and some of the other headlines read:
- Good men aren’t hard to find. Just look in the cleaning aisle
-Strong, clean and performs well under pressure
-A relationship built on stubborn stains and routine cleaning tasks
Apparently, the ad executives hired by Proctor and Gamble (the company that makes Mr. Clean products) really seriously believe that women have some kind of emotional, romantic attachment to this mute, cartoon bald guy who spends his days cleaning floors and toilets.
I’m not sure if I should laugh at this or be insulted. Seriously, guys, he’s a cartoon spokesperson for a cleaning product and he doesn’t even talk, he just… sparkles. He’s actually kind of creepy when you think about it.
But clearly Proctor and Gamble think that their primary customers for Mr. Clean are housewife moms (just visit Mr. Clean’s website and you’ll see what I mean) and while I would like to think that they respect this customer base, this ad campaign doesn’t make me feel like they do. It reeks of the “desperate housewives” stereotype that would have been patronizing in the 1950s and 1960s, but now when fewer and fewer women are housewives at all is downright insulting.
I hate to break it to you guys, but men clean too. Not that any other cleaning product company seems to know this either, but it’s true. Women aren’t the only ones who have to scrub floors and toilets nor are they happy when they’re told that it’s their job to do so. That’s not to say that women don’t scrub floors and toilets, just that they aren’t always the ones to do it and that they shouldn’t be the only ones expected to do it.
And, I’m sorry, but despite what cheesy gift books might say, “girl porn” is not pictures of guys cleaning. It’s pretty much the same as guy porn, but with fewer big boobs and more hot guys.
Posted in Home | Tagged: anniversary, cleaning, mr-clean, print-ad, proctor-and-gamble | 2 Comments »
Posted by Rosepixie on January 19, 2010
This is an ad that I actually saw on television a few times for Lime-A-Way. It has since (supposedly) been completely pulled from the airwaves by the company because of complaints about the ad.
Ok, so I was extremely creeped out by this ad when I first saw it. What bothered me was that it showed women who were willing to give themselves somewhat serious injuries just to clean stains in their bathrooms and then made it worse by implying it was normal – having the two women meet and acknowledge the real cause of their injuries (since cleaning lime stains was *obviously* the most likely cause of such an injury). Normalizing such behavior made it incredibly disturbing, when it was already disturbing enough.
The ad was pulled from the airwaves because of another reason, though. Many people feel that this ad is incredibly insensitive to women who have suffered domestic abuse. It’s common for women in such situations to lie about their injuries and while television shows may show us images of women with black eyes and bruises, the truth is that often the injuries and scars aren’t visible when they are out in public. But things like broken arms do happen, and when they do, it’s common to lie about it to avoid embarrassment and to try to avoid further abuse. The complaint about the ad was that to show a woman like this so obviously lying about her injuries was insensitive to women who really do have to do such a thing. It was also pointed out that women who feel that they have to clean their houses to the point where they hurt themselves doing so are often in abusive relationships or suffering from compulsions themselves. Neither is funny or something that should be used as a cute punchline for an ad.
While I didn’t think about the domestic abuse element when I saw the ad on the air, I can totally understand the complaint. I’m glad that SC Johnson pulled this ad, but I have to wonder what they were thinking when they made it in the first place. What were we supposed to take from it?
Posted in Home | Tagged: cleaning, commercial, domestic-abuse, lime-a-way, pulled, sc-johnson | 1 Comment »
Posted by Rosepixie on January 10, 2010
This is an ad for Tide that I found in a fashion magazine.
The first thing that I noticed about this ad was the model. This was the only ad in the entire magazine with a solitary model of color. There were a couple of ads with groups of models where one or two wasn’t white, but not a single other ad just had a woman of color by herself. And the ad that did was all about protecting the color of your laundry. Wow. I wonder if she was chosen deliberately for this one?
Other than what that says about print ads in general (that there is way too many white models in them, given the population demographics), this also brought out something else. Who is this all being marketed to? Do the companies that make the ads for hair dyes and make-ups and fashion lines really not care if black or Asian or latina woman buy their products? Or do they just fear that if they feature models like that in their ads, they’ll not attract white customers? And why is it ok to use a woman of color when representing bright colors or strong flavors, but not when representing just regular stuff. Don’t Asian women have to clean floors too? And don’t latinas wear perfume when they go out? And I could swear I’ve met black women who drive cars!
So, yes, I have a problem with Tide using the “black person = bright colors” shorthand in their ad, but really only because that’s the only ad where a black woman was featured. If I saw black women in other types of ads and white women in these types as well (showing us the clothes are bright, so we don’t have to use the racial shorthand to illustrate it), I wouldn’t be so annoyed about it.
Posted in Home | Tagged: cleaning, print-ad, race, tide | Leave a Comment »