Montreal’s Marketel launched Marketelle today, elle is French for ladies you see, a female focused devision within the agency that they claim will create better ads for women. At first this sounds kind of great there have been a LOT of terrible ads and products marketed at women in the past couple of years and almost all of them have been mocked, mercilessly. Do you know anyone who owns a BIC Pen for Her? No, of course you don’t no one does.
The big problem with Marketelle is that they’re treating women in the same way that BIC did they are assuming that all lady ads need to be handled by a separate department full of ladies! So many ladies in fact that their tag line is, “We speak woman.” Yep, that super secret language that they taught us when they separated the boys and girls for sex ed, this agency actually knows how to speak it. We’re in trouble gals; we’re going to have no choice but to buy all of the things because Marketelle will be speaking OUR language! I’m probably going to go into massive credit card debt from buying all of the things now that they finally know how to speak my language, it was so hard to understand commercials when they were speaking in Manguage. Good thing Marketelle is here to market things to me in a totally girl approved way.
As much as I hate the ENDLESS yogurt ads; no one eats that much yogurt! As much as I hate the insinuation that women are literally incapable of turning down any kind of sweet food thing without the help of a Kellogg’s cracker-cookie-craving-stopper; because our fat lady asses have no willpower without the help of Kellogg’s! I also don’t need an ad agency telling me that they speak ‘woman.’
There are plenty of ad agencies capable of developing great creative that targets women without creating condescending garbage and without charging their clients a hefty fee for translating all creative to woman. French translation is expensive enough imagine if you had to translate ads to woman too?
In 2010 Kotex launched U by Kotex and dared to ask young women, “Why are tampon ads so ridiculous?” Great point Kotex and JWT New York! Why are tampon ads so ridiculous? Also, what the hell is that blue liquid?
Poo~Pourri may be a totally fake sounding product (it’s completely real) but the ad which features a posh British lass sitting a toilet talking about prairie-dogging it and laying a brick is fantastic! No one likes stinking up a public washroom, that much is true, and this ad manages to address that concern with absolutely zero need to keep women away from the potty humour or the potty mouth in this case. Good on you Harmon Brothers, your weird and irreverent sense of humour is exactly what the ad industry needs more of.
On the other side of things Saatchi & Saatchi NY has received heaps of praise for their Tide ad which features a dad who is not a bumbling idiot being saved from household chores by his doting wife.
We don’t need to assign whole departments to handling the women folk. What we need are competent creatives who don’t rely entirely on outdated stereotypes when developing a campaign. Also maybe never work with the team behind the Wendy’s salad ads.