The Emmy awards are here !
Okay, I don’t really care all that much about the Emmys, although there is something to be said for the personal gratification that comes with seeing your favorite TV show recognized by a jury of professionals.
The kind of gratification that will have you jump up from your couch, fist-pump wildly and holler at the top of your voice that “yesssss homies !!! I told y’all ‘Breaking Bad’ is da shit !”
Or you know, look up to the side to make eye contact with your best mate, let a wry smirk grace your lips, and ever so slightly raise your tumbler of single malt in discreet recognition of the fact that ‘Mad Men’ rules.
Well anyway, I can’t say I really know what’s happening with the Emmys, but I was browsing their website and discovered that there is an Emmy award for advertising – specifically, for ‘Outstanding Commercial’. I was immediately drawn in, because much as I hate a bad commercial, a good one can be… well, really great.
That is how I found out that this year’s ‘Oustanding Commercial’ as voted by Mr. Emmy and his pals, is “Best Job”, made for Procter & Gamble by the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy. Not knowing this particular commercial, I turned to my dear friend YouTube for a look.
So, P&G, what’s the deal ?
Let me get this right: you’re extolling the virtues of mothers in general by focusing on the role of Olympic athletes’ moms, okay, I get that. And you’re showing how perfect these mothers are, because of the way they scrub dishes, do laundry, fluff the pillows, make breakfast… why yes, of course, what a terrific storyline – for the 1952 Olympics, maybe ?!?
Now, just for one moment, let me acknowledge the other side of things: yes, I agree, it must take a whole lot of sacrifice for a parent to allow their children to train for the Olympics. We’re talking hockey mom for a kid with an 82-game schedule. But still, I don’t know… is that the greatest aspiration for a mother ? Is that the epitome of motherhood in today’s world ?
I just think that there is a major difference between an individual’s personal choice and the message that a multinational multi-billion dollar company should be putting out there, since it is after all doling out bundles of cash on an advertising campaign.
Without putting down in any way the effort it takes to raise children, nor the fact that choosing to be a stay-at-home mother is a perfectly respectable choice, I don’t think that this is the best message that P&G could be putting out there.
I mean, if you want to focus on mothers and the Olympics, how about doing a piece on Tia Hellebaut, the Belgian high-jumper who came back to the competition after having a baby to win gold in Beijing ? Or how about Kim Clijsters, who won no less than 3 Grand Slam tournaments on the tennis circuit, while also being a mother (it seems the Belgian ladies have something going for them – we should look into this). And I’m sure there are many, many others.
Or you know, still sticking to athletes’ mothers and the Olympics, surely someone could have come up with a humoristic ad around Ryan Lochte’s mom discussing her son’s one-night-stands. Granted, maybe that would have been better suited to Durex than to P&G, but hey, I’m not getting paid millions to come up with these ideas, so please bear with me if they still need some fine-tuning.
As a matter of fact, I don’t think it’s the idea behind the commercial that bothers me, but the execution of it. You want to show the sacrifices moms make for their children ? Fine. But did you have to focus on the dish washing ? On the laundry ? Really ? Couldn’t come up with anything better ?
Is it maybe that mothers who happen to have a career have found a way to wash their families’ clothes without detergent, and are therefore not worthy of advertisers’ attentions ? I won’t even bother about men – everyone knows that they never wash anyway. Which is kind of strange, considering everything you read about young adults in big cities being single, you’d think some of those men actually wash their clothes once in a while. Oh, but right, they must just drop off their laundry at their mom’s, well into their late 30’s, because anyway their mothers don’t have anything better to do.
I mean come on, P&G, what would Mitt Romney say about this commercial ? Shouldn’t these ladies be out there looking for a job ?
Well I guess I’ll stop ranting and raving now, but I thought that P&G, W&K and the Emmys should all get a thumbs down on this, even though I’m pretty sure that the ad campaign has been a great success and everyone involved is having a Mad Men style booze-fest high up in some corner office.
That’s my take at any rate. Well, now I’m off, I have some laundry to do for tomorrow…
Nah, just kidding, I’ll just call my mom, of course.