Archive of ‘random rantings’ category

Big Advertising Budgets. Itty Bitty Minds.

Dear Dr. Pepper, VW and other small-minded advertisers:

Look. I realize the economy’s bad. Spending is down. You’ve got to be inventive to boost sales. But courting men at the expense of your female consumers isn’t just stupid, it’s bad business.

I’m not sure how it escaped your notice, but according to sources like Girlpower Marketing, women now control 85 percent of the purchasing decisions in the United States. That adds up to more than $7 trillion in spending. That’s more than the GDP of Japan.

What’s more, more than 30 percent of us now out-earn our husbands. I know I do.

So hyper-macho campaigns designed to rally men around the penis pole?  Are just guaranteed to piss off a lot of your best customers.

Dr. Pepper, I think maybe you were just trying to be funny. I think maybe you thought you could one-up the Old Spice guy. But this?

Is just stupid. Every time I see it, I want to throw things at the TV screen. And not only will I never allow Dr. Pepper 10 in my house, I won’t even drink the regular stuff when I’m out at a restaurant anymore.

And I’m not the only one. I’ve talked to lots of women who feel exactly the same way (a few of whom urged me to write this rant).

And as for you, VW? Well, I’m just straight-up disappointed in you. You’re usually so smart. So egalitarian. Your commercials make me smile—and, more often than not, wish I had written them.

So when I read about your new New Beetle campaign—the one with the print ad featuring the “It’s A Boy” headline, I was confused. The last New Beetle was one of the most beloved cars of my generation. I know I loved mine to death—even while it was costing me thousands of dollars in repairs.

Yeah, it was a “girl car.” But you know what? There are more women than men in this country. And, again according to Girlpower Marketing (as well as other sources), we make almost 70 percent of the car purchasing decisions.

So why the heck are you trying to make it a man’s car? You had a home run the last time around. I highly doubt those testosterone-addled men in their mid-30s that you’re after will ever be the brand evangelists that we women we were.

I hope that you both come to understand the ridiculousness of your current brand position in short order. And that you get back to work creating campaigns that we can all love.

Because the era of Mad Men? Is gone for good. Get with the program, people.

Sincerely,

One Disappointed Former Customer

Amber Page

Hypocrisy in a Parenting Magazine (or: No Wonder Women Are Neurotic).

It’s no secret that society surrounds women with hypocritical messages almost 24/7.

“Stay skinny,” says one ad, while another whispers, “but don’t let anyone know you diet.”

“Be a positive role model for your daughter. Don’t let her hear you calling yourself fat,” insists one book. Meanwhile, five others blare, “You’re fat! Stop eating! Get rid of that pooch! Look ten years younger!” from the same bookshelf.

But parenting magazines? Those should be safe, shouldn’t they?

They should have nothing but supportive messages. They should be filled with tips for keeping your family healthy, your wallet full and your children smiling.

They should understand the pressure we’re all under—and do their best to help us cope.

And so, it was with no little interest that I opened the latest issue of Parents magazine to read this article:

Lessons from a Zen mommy, Parents Magazine, August 2011

This sounds like just what the doctor ordered.

Slow down, the article preaches. Appreciate the moment. Try not to stress so much. Stop multitasking. And above all things, remember:

zen mommy call out, parents magazine, August 2011

Good words of advice.

That article actually made me stop and think for a moment. If I knew all I had left was this one moment, would I want to be worrying about the bills I have to pay, or the state of my carpet, or the skin tag making my arm pit unsightly?

You wouldn’t think so.

But then I turned the page to see this:

arm pit beauty from August 2011 Parents magazine.

Apparently, after I learn to slow down and live in the moment, I will realize that I can’t possibly present myself to the world without beautiful armpits.

Because, you know, that’s what zen mommies do. Slave over every square inch of their bodies rather than play with their kids and appreciate the beautiful lives they’ve been blessed with.

Thanks, Parents magazine. I didn’t realize my arm pits should be such a priority.

Tomorrow, after rising before dawn (without an alarm clock) and meditating for 20 minutes, I will make sure I get the perfect pit shave before proceeding downstairs to prepare a macrobiotic breakfast for my strong, intelligent (but not beautiful, ’cause we can’t tell a girl she’s pretty) toddler.

And I will appreciate every moment I spend shaving and moisturizing my pits. Because that’s what Good Mommies do.

Awesome. I needed something else to worry about.

Sometimes.

Once upon a time, I had a five-year plan. I knew where I wanted my career to go. What I wanted to accomplish in my personal life. I was sure it was only a matter of time until I was sitting pretty, perched up high on the ladder to success.

Then life happened.

These days, I’m lucky if I have a five-day plan. Heck, I’m lucky if I remember what day it is.

Which isn’t to say I’ve given up.

I still have a long list of things I want to accomplish. I’m writing a novel this year. I’m trying hard to take my career in a new direction. I’m dedicated to keeping this blog alive. I’m attempting to keep my house cleaner and make my wardrobe hipper.

And then, of course, there’s those 15 pounds still stubbornly hanging around…

Most of the time, I’m happy with the progress I’m making. But sometimes? Sometimes I just want to curl up on the couch with my daughter and sit out a few rounds.

Sometimes I’d rather watch a few hours of TV than work on yet another writing project.

Sometimes I’d rather take a walk with my husband than spend my time connecting online.

Sometimes I’d rather get down on the floor and kick and scream next to my daughter than pick her up and haul her off to daycare.

Sometimes I just wish I could be a little more sure I’m doing it right.

Sometimes. Like right now.

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