There is a growing, disturbing trend of sexist commercials marketed towards women.
Using Twitter, Missrepresentation.org is spreading the hashtag #NotBuyingIt “to challenge the misrepresentation of women and girls”. Brands can use social media to instigate buzz for their product through controversial, catchy and sometimes misogynistic techniques.
Missrepresentation wants consumers to report sexist advertisements to their Twitter page in order to challenge businesses to create less offensive commercials.
Recent targets of the #NotBuyingit campaign are the Beats by Dre Pill shaped speakers, and Truecar, a comparison car pricing business.
Truecar.com aims to protect consumers from being ripped off by car dealerships. Truecar also markets their service with the sexist assumption that women will no longer “need to bring a dude” to help them buy a car from a dealership.
Woman A: “I talk big, and at the dealership I was trying to hold my own”; woman B: “I felt confident going in on my own and closing the deal on my own”; woman C: “Truecar makes it a lot easier to go in by yourself”. Notice a pattern? These subtle sexist remarks imply that women, such as the women speaking in this Truecar commercial, are incapable of buying a car by themselves.
While it is slightly ambiguous at that point in the commercial as to whether or not Truecar intended to be sexist, the closing — ”I don’t need to bring a dude with me” remark reveals a sexist assumption that women would normally need a man to help them buy a car.
Truecar, why single out young women? Surely men or elderly people could be as easily swindled by a car salesman as the women speaking in this advertisement. Why focus on a demographic solely based on an archaic stereotype?
Ironically, the opening words printed at the beginning of the commercial are, “Let’s talk truth.” Truth is something that can be proven as fact. I don’t see any sort of factual representation explaining why or how anyone, women especially, would benefit substantially from using Truecar.
The average person could just as easily conduct their own pricing research to protect themselves against price gouging at a car dealership. It is not okay to marginalize an entire gender based on the assumption that they are not able to do something because it is a man’s field of expertise.
The Beats by Dre Pill speaker commercial uses more visually suggestive sexist assumptions than verbal sexism by Truecar. Using the lyrics “I know you want it” from the popular song, “Blurred Lines”, scantily clad women surround a man, holding the Pill in suggestive positions. Disregarding the obvious representation of the Beats by Dre Pill, why make the ridiculous conclusion that women will “want” men who own this product?
I have speakers and enjoy using them for music. I am also a young adult. If my speakers broke and I needed new ones, what benefit would the product provide? I am left clueless as to the quality of these speakers through their advertisement, rendering it ineffective. Instead of advertising quality, Beats by Dre decides to objectify women through their models’ behavior.
One could argue that a commercial like the Beats by Dre Pill would not disturb an audience on a channel such as MTV or VH1, where graphic music videos are common, but this commercial has crossed over to family news channels such as Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC Family. To show the Beats by Dre Pill commercial on these news channels is unacceptable, sexist, inappropriate and offensive not only to women and children but to viewers’ intelligence.
Why are Beats by Dre and Truecar profiting off of sexist commercials? Society has become so desensitized from outrageous advertisements because a commercial will not be effective unless it generates buzz. These companies are so willing to get their product noticed that they don’t care if it is for the wrong reasons.
The essential idea of #Notbuyingit is to make consumers care about the content of the advertisements they are subjected to. It is 2013; people should no longer passively accept sexist advertisements as normal. Women do not deserve to be exploited in the media.
We are capable and intelligent, which is why we should #Notbuyit. As consumers, we should participate in Missrepresentation’s Twitter campaign to end misogynistic advertisements in the media.