The Gruen Transfer On “Padvertising”
Posted by Clem Bastow on July 9, 2008
Now that the chorus of groans from dedicated Aunty viewers has died down, we can appreciate Wil Anderson’s advertising/marketing magazine show The Gruen Transfer for what it is: a funny and often enlightening look at the world of advertising.
Last week’s episode’s “How Do You Sell…” segment featured, as the rather delicate term goes, ‘women’s sanitary products’. The panel’s discussion raised some salient points – do advertisers prey on the “shame” factor in sanitary product ads (i.e. “leakage”)? Yes. Do they create “problems” in order to sell “solutions” (i.e. panty-liners for month-long protection > month-long advertising)? Yes. Are “dumb boyfriend” ads just as sexist as ditzy women ads? Yes – as well as highlighting some of the ridiculous taboos of advertising pads and tampons (no blood! No saying “vagina”!).
It’s fascinating to see these advertising and marketing professionals, in effect, selling out the world of “padvertising” (as Anderson hilariously puts it) and giving away the marketing secrets that are used to keep women shelling out cash in what they note, numerous times, is a $250-million industry (in Australia alone).
You can watch the discussed advertisements on the Gruen site, but here – in exciting two-part format, thanks YouTube’s 10-minutes only rule! – is the discussion in full.
In particular I find the panel’s take on the now infamous U Tampons “beaver” ad particularly interesting – that, in its own funny way, it’s “liberating” in the way it says ‘yes, all women have vaginas, and they’re not scary’ and so on. I mean, the fact that it has to be done via a) a cute/dorky ad and b) using the term “beaver” (I’m sorry, did we become one of the United States of America and I missed the memo?) leaves a little to be desired, but I did view it in a somewhat different and more positive light after hearing their discussion of it.
This entry was posted on July 9, 2008 at 11:44 pm and is filed under body image, Business, Media Watch, Watching The Ad Breaks. Tagged: abc, advertising, body image, discussion, periods, sexism, tampons. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.