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


DS said...

Call me a prude but as a female I find the advertising and metaphors to be very vulgar and demeaning to women and was surprised to learn it was created by ... well, I won't call them women bc I don't feel they're worthy of the term. What do you call females with no class and vulgar mouths?

Not only will this ad form not lead me to purchase this particular product, I won't support Schick with any product purchase.

ModernSophist said...

Prude is fine, DS. But I think prude is meant to mean that you have a very narrow comfort level with some, shall we say, liberal scenarios. What I don't believe Prude necessarily describes is one's conservative tastes demanding conformity from others. I'll let others decide what the word is for that.

I think this ad is cute. Taking into account that rational minded people can choose things for themselves, I'm sure it speaks to those who already have a desire to trim and manage themselves as they see fit. And that's their style. I think the women who created this did a nice job of exploring the topic of pubic trimming in an accessable, friendly way.