I’m partially stealing this from my very talented friend and colleague Sarah Shemkus who keeps this blog over at the Cape Cod Times Web site. Sarah points out her Top 10 Worst Commercials of 2009, and does so in very snarky, wonderful fashion.
But the ad I want to hit on is this one from Target:
Basically, I want to take a flame thrower to this bitch.
First of all, we’re in a recession. Times are tough everywhere, and because of that it’s more important than ever that couples talk about their finances and make joint decisions that take into account their family’s best financial interests. Yet in this commercial, the wife buys herself a big screen TV without consulting her husband. Then, when he rightfully takes offense and gently tries to remind her that spending should be kept to a minimum, she gives him all kinds of attitude.
But then, just to push her bitchiness over the top, she says, “Maybe Santa doesn’t need any help doing Santa’s job.”
This is where the ad goes from being shitty television, to a shitty commentary on the readily accepted roles played by men and women. First of all, the guy was just trying to stick to their previously established plan of spending less during difficult times. Sounds pretty reasonable right? But then she goes out and submarines him by spending hundreds (possibly thousands) on a new TV. Then, when he sticks up for himself, she basically tells him gift-giving and how they spend money is none of his damn business.
Or, in other words, it’s a woman’s job and he should just shut the hell up and not question her infinite wisdom.
I know women such as this one, and they make me want to tear what’s left of my hair completely out. It’s funny, because a lot of women I know complain their husbands aren’t involved enough. Yet this guy is just trying to save a few bucks, but she gets angry even though she’s the one who deviated from the plan. She should be happy he’s taking an interest in his family’s well-being.
But what really gets me is the double standard.
Think for one minute about what would happen if the roles in this TV commercial were reversed. What if a man was telling a woman to mind her own business because men don’t need any help deciding how the family’s money is spent? Because maybe men don’t need any help leading the family and making all the decisions. That’d go over as well as a fart in church and you know it.
And what’s with her creepy, passive-aggressive smile at the end? She looks like an inmate at the asylum who mixed up her medication and is on the verge of going on a 6-state killing spree.
I think my main point here is that some multi-national advertising agency needs to come to their senses and hire me to write these commercials. Sure each product would be pitched by either fighting mascots or monkeys dressed in people’s clothes, but at least we wouldn’t have to watch this crap.