Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Schick Quattro for Women urges proper lawn care "down there" in latest ad campaign

"Never feel untidy, just spruce up your Aphrodite!" chirps a blonde Stepford-wife clone in this new ad by Wilkinson Sword for its Schick Quattro for Women Bikini razor.

The world of this promotional video is populated with gorgeous women enthusiastically trimming bushes and mowing lawns accompanied by a group sing-along (apparently yard work has never been so much fun). Of particular interest is the copy itself, full of clever euphemisms and accompanied by a bouncy, toe-tapping soundtrack. All in all, a catchy yet potentially controversial spot. Word is that a version of the viral video ran in the UK and US. What was that line about “tulips?”

A spot like this can raise some interesting issues. According to The Adhunt Blog, the advertisement was produced by JWT New York and all the creative work was done by women (Executive CD: Sarah Barclay; CD: Lisa Topol, AD: Megan Penmann, Writer: Margie Chidley). This raises the question of gender appropriateness in certain product categories especially concerning sensitive topics (pun intended) framed with sexual references: Women can sell beer but can men sell feminine products such as women’s razors? What would this advertisement have turned out like if men had written it instead of women? Much more coarse, for sure.

There is a double standard regarding creative gender and sexual appeals. Recall the Clairol Herbal Essences campaign--created by women--with women feigning orgasm while washing their hair: “A truly organic experience.”

--Posted by Kurt Thomson