Monday, July 18, 2011

Hail to the V?

I was so caught-up in the Harry Potter 7.2 movie that I nearly forgot about this gem of a commercial that was shown before the previews.

I am trying to figure out my reaction to this. As a critic of advertising, I think this is a success. It's clever. It's funny. The production value is high and it's certainly memorable. If the point of advertising is to get people talking, Summer's Eve has succeeded.

But the feminist part of me, as well as the part concerned with the mass-marketing of unnecessary "health" products, is outraged. The message here is that, while you women may have "the most powerful thing on Earth," no man would want to be near it if it smelled a little funny. On the one hand, the ad tries to be empowering, but that's overshadowed completely by the other hand, the company trying to make money by making women feel ashamed, to feel that they can't trust the naturalness of their own bodies.

There's no question here: douching is bad for you. A quick glance over this fact sheet makes that pretty clear. Now, to be fair, I learned from the Summer's Eve website that they actually aren't selling douches anymore. They now sell cleansing products, wipes and deodorant sprays. But check that fact sheet link again -- it clearly states:
Most doctors say it's best to let your vagina clean itself. The vagina cleans itself naturally by making mucous. The mucous washes away blood, semen, and vaginal discharge. You should know that even healthy, clean vaginas may have a mild odor. Keep the outside of your vagina clean and healthy by washing regularly with warm water and mild soap when you bathe. You should also avoid scented tampons, pads, powders, and sprays. These products may increase your chances of getting a vaginal infection.

I know this is not at all the first time an advertiser has tried to sell me something I don't need. But it's just a shame to see so much creativity put into such an unnecessary -- and actually, harmful and insulting -- product. To make myself feel better, I'll just go watch the Axe Detailer ad again.

1 comment:

  1. Andrew Sullivan is following your lead. :D