Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Quick hit: Barnett on bushes, beavers and belittling

Brought to you by the letter B:
Is it me or has modern womanhood suddenly become the university exam question from hell this week? Compare and contrast the following.

There is a commercial now on television that features a woman going to the beach, a hairdresser, and a manicurist with a beaver. The ad is for tampons. Mm-hmm.

Tricky euphemisms aside, the advertising agency said the fury friend was chosen because it was "catchy, visual and unique". This is a family newspaper. I will not insert a joke here, though it's killing me.

Although it was the most complained about commercial in Australia last year, so far only 30 Kiwis have contacted the Advertising Standards Authority. I believe 29 of them were Inuit fur trappers phoning in their distain from Beaverton, Oregon.

The last one was probably my mother, worried that the beaver suffered mistreatment by having to pose on a hot Australian beach. One gentle viewer thought it was a wombat.

The truth is I laughed at that commercial because in comparison to an ad for a woman's shaver now running in Britain, the menstruation-beaver combo is a delight.
Click through for the rest, which is well worth reading. I couldn't really find an excerpt that worked alone, because the whole thing is quite interlocking, covering a British ad involving lawnmowers, the latest legal outrages in Afghanistan and something called iGirl which sounds icky. Tracey Barnett; I heart you.

I thought the beaver ad was a bit of a refreshing change from mysterious blue liquids. Maybe I'm being (somewhat characteristically) naive and optimistic, but it seemed like an advertising message which was saying "love your body, including your lady bits". Mind you I did have to watch the ad three times before I actually got the point of the beaver.


Anna said...

That sounds hilarious! To me, it's an example of a good-natured joke, made without being grossed out by ladies' bits. One of the things about the mysterious sanitary product ads (the ones that show blue liquid or make no reference to menstruation at all) is that they suggest discomfort with the whole idea of menstruation.

A Nonny Moose said...

I actually like that "Be Kind To Your Beaver" ad too. I'm not at all upset by it, because it's a refreshing change from animated florals and blue liquids.

And why BLUE liquids? I'm trying to imagine the round table discussion when TV advertisers came up with the whole liquid thingimy.

"Can't be red - not allowed to show the real thing!"
"Pink? Too close to red"
"Green? Ewwww..."
"Purple? Ewwwwwwwwww...."
"Yellow? Errr, urine?"
"Blue? Yeah! The boys colour for women's products!"

Joanna said...

What I hate about the beaver ad is that they also say something like "look after yourself down there". Down where? Down on the farm? I would think that part of looking after yourself might also involve being able to say the word "vagina" so that you can feel comfortable talking about it with your friends, doctors and sexual partners, but hey...

moz said...

Joanna, I'm sure they mean "when you're in Australia" by "down there". It makes perfect sense, what with the dangerous wildlife and the ferocious flora. Not to mention the weather.

Anonymous said...

I like the beaver ad. It's a nice change from the random ad where a woman is skipping along and there's all these bright colours and she's just sooo happy!

I'm never happy when I have my period. And I don't skip ever.

Lynda said...

i thought it was a squirrel

Anonymous said...

"An Asian woman puts her hand to her mouth and sings, "Some gardens are mighty small.""

I guess this comment reflects a male fantasy about hairless vaginas rather than reality as "small gardens" hasn't been my experience when communal bathing in Asia. Luxuriant pubic hair is a staple of expat conversation in Japan.


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the ad but I don't like the sound of it. It sounds like something else telling me a part of my body is not good enough (in this case, I'm told my "untidy bush" needs trimming!) Now I have to resist getting another hangup about another part of my body?

I'm 22 but I somehow had never come across the idea that my "bush" should be trimmed until very recently. And I preferred it that way.