Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hand Krafted, For Your Viewing Displeasure

So, has anyone else seen this commercial and wondered what this world is coming to?

Well, soon after that commercial aired, Kraft decided to paste an additional piece of media smut into our minds using this print ad (in case you had your adult settings on TV and missed the commercial).

**Warning:  This link goes to an ad that is inappropriate for work, in my opinion, so be careful where you are when you click.

This series of ads is offensive to me, and the reasons are fourfold.

1.  It's stupid.

This ad is dumb.  Just plain dumb.  And not the kind of dumb that makes you chuckle, but the kind of dumb that makes you wonder if the entire world has gone mad.

2.  It's ineffective.

Neither this commercial nor this print ad makes me want to buy salad dressing!  In fact, salad dressing is perhaps the most minor character in this 30 second spot, behind the half-naked model, the other ingredients on the table, the brick oven, and the disturbing number of sexual innuendos.  The only thing this ad makes me want to buy is hand sanitizer so that I can use it to scrub my corneas and thus never have to watch the ad again. 

3.  It's offensive to women.

I don't consider myself to be a radical feminist, but I do try to stick up for my fellow woman-kind when I feel we're being slighted, and this ad is an obvious blow to us.  Is this what the data show?  That women these days are so shallow and unthinking that we will buy salad dressing if a handsome, shirtless man even suggests it?  Advertisers have used this tactic for centuries to advertise to men (and that is something that they should be up in arms about, too, but that's beside the point), but usually reserved some modicum of dignity for women, appealing instead to their sense of value, thriftiness, efficiency, or some other respectful quality.

4.  Besides being lewd, lascivious, disgusting, inappropriate, crude, and uncouth, this advertising is LAZY!

Believe it or not, more than any other reason, the 4th reason is the worst in my opinion.  While the 1960s as depicted by the TV series Mad Men had plenty of unfaithfulness, crude joking, and oversexed culture, they did one thing well:  advertising.  The ads they come up with on the show are intelligent, well-thought-out, catchy, and effective.  They dance gracefully around delicate subjects like the sale of women's undergarments--subtly hinting at advantages like confidence and comfort rather than overtly showing the intimacy of a model wearing the actual garment.  You just cannot tell me that the best idea an ad agency these days can come up with about salad dressing is to pretend bread dough is a behind being slapped and to use the bottle as some grotesque phallic symbol.  It's lazy advertising.  And I don't buy it.

So now I don't buy Kraft salad dressing.  And I know that the loss of my little $2.49 or whatever doesn't really hurt the company, but it makes me feel better.  That, and blogging about it, so that maybe a few of my fellow blog readers won't give them their $2.49 either.  They don't deserve it after that lazy attempt at my business.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Swimsuit Yourself

Last weekend I went on Mission Impossible IV:  The Search for a Post-Baby Swimsuit.  (Let's just say I'll only be using stock photos in this post...that ought to hint at how well it went.)

I should've known the trip was doomed from the start when I got to the mall and realized that I had the baby but not the stroller.  Mom fail!  Since I was only looking fro swimsuits for Carter and myself, I thought it would be quick and made the decision just to hold Carter rather than go back to the house for the stroller.  Spoiler alert:  18 pounds of infant gets really heavy after half an hour, especially when about 16 of those pounds are leaning directly away from you and trying to touch every clothing rack, jewelry display, and "Sale" sign in the place.  By the time I got back to the car my arms were so tired I had to ask Google maps to route a way home involving no turns since I didn't have the strength to move the steering wheel.

Anyway, I looked at suits at Dillard's and couldn't find anything in my preferred price range (0-$5).  Apparently Dillard's is only buying suits made of exotic, expensive, and extra-special lycra.  And they have the price tags to prove it.  No worries--I hoisted Carter a little higher on my hip and we moved on to JC Penney. 

By this point in the excursion I'd realized another grave error in judgement:  I wore new shoes.  My cute little ballet flats had been rubbing a little on my heels during the day, but after traipsing through the mall for a while, it was really getting painful.  Bravely, I soldiered on in the name of fashion.

In case you didn't know, JCPenney has been doing a major renovation of its stores and the changes look great.  They've re-done their flooring, amped up their advertising, cleaned up their stores (as in, swept up all the cricket legs that had been decomposing there since 1980), and improved the quality of the clothing they buy.  Basically what I'm saying is:  "Great job, JCP!"

Except they forgot one key demographic.

There is always a disparity in stores between number of baby girl clothes and number of baby boy clothes.  It's generally about 3:1 or 4:1, and you know what?  Most of us "boy-moms" have made our peace with that.  Let's be honest, there are just more options for girls with all their ruffles and bows and glitter and ribbons and sequins and pearls...but there are only so many ways you can sew a car applique onto a red shirt, and only a few ways to put pockets on cargo pants.  So we deal with the inequality.  But what JCP did to us?  We just can't stand by and say nothing.

I knew something was wrong when I couldn't even locate the boys' 0-24 month swimsuits.  The girls' 0-24 month swimsuits were proudly shown spanning 4 separate racks.  After an intensive search I finally located the boys' rack boys' swimsuits single, lonely option for infant boys.  That's right, JCP only carries one swimsuit option for boys aged 0 to 2.  And it's not even that cute.

Defeated, I hoisted Carter up one more time on my hip and limped back to my car in my uncomfortable shoes that had now eaten a significant portion of my heels. 

Hey, JCP--great job on the business model overhaul.  Love the new look, love the new feel, but your buyers might want to reconsider something.  About 50% of all babies are could we maybe have 25% of the selection that the girls have?  We like swimming, too.

PS--I would really, really like to figure out how to do a picture like this with Carter, but I feel very scared he and/or I might drown in the process.  So I'm thinking we'll stick with the stock photo thing we have going.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


It's the eleventh again, which means that my sweet baby is one entire month older.  Such a simple fact for a doting mommy to grasp!

This month Carter has somehow figured out a way to become even more handsome, adorable, bright-eyed, and (of course) mobile.  He is an emphatic little crawler--he slaps his hands step by step on our cold tile as he makes a beeline toward the kitchen cabinets that hold the poisonous household cleaners (it has a childproof lock, don't worry).  And as if his turning 9 months old today wasn't enough, he also took a step today.  Granted, it's possible that this "step" was only "falling with style," but we're going to let it count.

He is still a mama's boy, but he and his daddy have gotten to spend some quality time together this month while Jeffrey has been on ER rotation (AKA--three days off per week compared to the usual zero or one) and now he reaches his little arms out for daddy to hold him almost as often as he does for mom.

Carter babbles more now, although he seems partial to just saying "uh."  We think he may be indecisive...

We have an appointment to see the doctor on Friday for his well baby checkup--I'm eager to see how he weighs in.  At the last appointment the doctor was concerned that he was a lightweight.  As you'll see from his balloon picture, he's put on a few pounds since then!  This boy can EAT.  He likes everything, but is especially fond of anything he can pick up and feed to himself, like cheerios and Gerber puffs (which we refer to as "num-nums" after the sound Carter makes when he eats them).

What else can I say?  We love this boy.

Happy eleventh, baby.