Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tide Commercial

Have a look and see what you think about this. Then read what I think.

I actually wrote to the company to say I found it offensive, on so many levels.

They replied:

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on the Tide commercial. Tide celebrates individual style, and we know kids are creative and sometimes choose to wear what they want - not always what mom suggests.

Our intention wasn’t to convey an unfavorable relationship between the mom and daughter or to express an opinion on what is or isn’t appropriate to wear. Our intention was to play up the humor of what happens when mothers and children have differing style preferences.

We take your feedback very seriously, and I’ll share your comments with the rest of our Tide team.

Interesting. "Tide celebrates individual style"? Really?

I wrote back again:

I understand that's where you were aiming with this Tide commercial, but your creative team completely missed the mark.

Of course mothers and daughters don't always agree when it comes to clothing choices. I've raised three kids, two of them daughters, so I know what kind of battles teenagers and their moms go through as one side struggles to express themselves and the other struggles to let go (and it's not just girls, btw.) I get that. But what this commercial suggests is that the mother is disappointed not only in her daughter's clothing choices, but where they might lead. It implies that the girl's rejection of pink "feminine" things and her interest in hoodies, cargo shorts and "gettin' dirty" while she plays with car garages are making her daughter kind of butch and possibly (gasp!) a lesbian, implying there is something wrong with this.

What kind of message is that? Gay and transgendered kids are being bullied and committing suicide because society and sometimes their own parents do not accept them as they are. Have you seen the "It Gets Better" campaigns on YouTube?

Say it was a father and son in the commercial, and the son was wearing pink and playing with dolls, and the father expressed disappointment that he couldn't change the way the kid dressed. Would it still be funny?

Kids struggle so hard these days, looking for their own identities while stereotypes are thrown at them from all sides, especially young girls. The fact that this aired during an episode of Teen Mom only adds to the irony.

I took time out of my day to write this because it's important. Thanks for taking time out of your day to listen.


What do you think? If you like, go HERE and tell Tide yourself.


Debby said...

I guess that my complaint would be that it stereotypes little girls (and women), suggesting what is 'normal' and what is not. The mother's unease with her daughter's 'abnormal' hearkens back to another era. I thought we were past that. Of course, I say the same damn thing when I watch young girls at the college acting like wide eyed simpletons to attract the attention of a boy. It seems to me that we are going backward, not forward.

Yutha said...

COMPLETELY agree with you. It's suggesting her "boyish" behaviour is wrong. Terrible ad.

Deniz Bevan said...

Sheesh! I had no idea this was going on - haven't seen the ad. Love it when people write well-written letters standing up for things that matter [g]

Terry said...

I'm with you. I just wrote them a letter. I also have issue with the feeding into the pinkwash of childhood for little girls turning them into consumers of pink crap before they even realize it. Think back to when we (who are older than 20 years) were young. If you asked girls what their favourite colour was, they didn't all answer "Pink!". Disney, Matel, and La Senza and their ilk have done this. When I ask little kids in Kingston, Jamaica (who are not marketed to about such things, as they're poor), they never say pink is their favourite colour.

Thanks for bringing this issue up!

A Novel Woman said...

I love you guys.