Saturday, August 27, 2005

LPGA commercial sponsors

Being able to blog about commercials that are aried during women's sports events combines my most favorite subjects for analysis: women's sports and pop culture.
So two commercials struck me while I was watching today's coverage of the Wendy's Championship for Children. One was for the home security system ADP (which also sponsors rookie Paula Creamer) and the other for DSW, which is a big sponsor of women's golf and several, at least, of its players.
The ADP commercial has a faux reenactment of a very suburban-looking woman (who is providing the voice-over) waking up in the middle of the night to her ADP alarm going off. Everything is fine, of course, because she has ADP and we see her huddling her children close to her, assuring them everything is going to be fine. What is conspicuously missing is the man, as in her husband, not the ADP guy who answers the phone. We don't know why there is no man: is she a divorcee, widow, wife of frequently traveling businessman, lesbian? OK--she's probably not a lesbian, like the LPGA needs that suggestion even slightly made by any of their sponsors. Whatever the issue, she is alone. And, the message is there, if you are a woman alone, you need this system. Sure they are spot on with the demographic: either middle-class women or middle-class men who have middle-class women in their lives who may be at home at night alone. But it send sucha countermessage to the actual event which showcases strong women competing, succeeding at once was solely a man's game.
The second commercial for DSW I have seen versions of before. This campaign's premise treats shoe shopping like hunting. And not humans hunting with guns but animals hunting their prey, often in competition with other animals. So basically we see women looking at shoes in a DSW store while the voiceover, meant to sound like the running commentary on Animal Planet or the Discovery Channel, constructs a narrative that could easily be on an animal show. Why is it that women are only allowed to be "wild" when they are shoe shopping? Oh yeah, because otherwise we wouldn't be able to tame them and they would go "wild" and try to do things like play golf--with men! Hmmm...maybe these DSW commercials aren't as effective as I thought.

No comments: