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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, You’ll Never Guess What This Ad Is Selling

Dear Daughters,

At the beginning of the ad we see a woman, from the back, walking down the hall dressed in only a bra and panties. And by walking, I mean moving with a runway model type swagger – hips swinging back and forth, with one leg placed just so in front of the other, encouraging maximum hip swagger. Before she reaches the top of the stairs she runs her fingers through her long hair, moving it all to the front of her right shoulder. There is then a close up shot of her left hand running down the stairway railing (she must have needed the hair off her left shoulder to ensure her stability) AND in the left side of the same shot, a very close up view of her bare thighs and of course of her panty-covered middle region. Might I note here that I am very happy to know she used the railing while making her way down the stairs. She would have received quite the nasty “road rash” type burn had she fallen with that amount of skin exposed. As her middle region leaves the screen we are quickly treated to a close up view of her bare feet navigating the remaining few steps, one at a time.

At this point, We are only 6 seconds in to the advertisement. Can you guess what product they are selling? Here are a few of my guesses:

1. Escort services
2. Bras
3. Panties
4. Bikini waxes – this girl looks like she was born without a single hair on her body (except for her head), and possibly without skin pores
5. Stairway railings

She then enters an immaculately clean room and turns up the volume on a radio – in old-school fashion! She actually turns a silver knob to the right. No remote used or rectangular-shaped button held down to increase volume! We get a close up of her thumb and pointer finger twisting the knob too. The commercial’s director seems to be a fan of the close-up view. She then walks over to check herself out in front of a full-length mirror where the camera zooms in, not quite as close this time, to give us a shot of just below her bra line to mid thigh, with her buttocks being the focal point for viewers. The camera angle quickly switches to a close-up of her right eye, adorned by perfectly applied make-up, moving from a closed position, to an open position. Her eye then opens slightly larger, as if indicating she is about to do something naughty, before the camera focuses in on her middle finger slowly tracing down her cleavage. As her finger reaches the top of the bra material, the camera moves towards her lips. She bashfully (or naughtily) bites the outside of the left side of her lip before slowly moving her right hand down her right upper thigh.

volume

We are 14 seconds in. Any idea what product the advertisers are advertising? Here are my guesses:

1. Escort services is a very strong guess at this point.
2. Bras/panties is still a contender given that is still all she is wearing
3. Hair removal products are still in contention
4. Eye make-up now enters the race
5. Cleaning services too – I mean the room she is in is immaculate

Stairway railings are now out.

Back to the advertisement…

Her long locks are now perfectly hanging on either shoulder as well as down her back which is funny I noticed since the focal point of this shot seems to be her breasts. I am now strongly guessing they must be selling bras. Maybe this is a Victoria’s Secret ad! Which leads me to beg the question, what is Victoria’s “secret” anyway? Their ads don’t leave much to the imagination.

Back to the advertisement…

She walks over to a couch, in a shot where we again see an immaculately clean room. Cleaning services are still in the running! She bends over and grabs a pair of jeans off the couch, and as she walks away from the couch we get a close up view of her abdomen and the jeans. We are then blessed with the opportunity to watch her put the jeans on. They slowly glide up her legs, towards the curves of her buttocks, which the camera does not miss. Once her glutes are covered by the jeans, there is a quick change of camera views to the front, where she fastens the button of her jeans. She then checks herself out in the mirror and we get to check her out as well, as the camera moves up and down her body. An advertisement for a bra is still in the running but we now have a couple more new contenders:

1. Jeans
2. A couch

Still in the running as mentioned are:

1. Cleaning services
2. Bras
3. Mirrors

A little less in contention now that she has jeans on are:

1. Panties
2. Escort services

And back to the couch she goes to pick up a white top – an immaculately white top – and then we see a bit more of that runway swagger as she walks away from the couch. The camera then zooms out and we see said white top on an ironing board and and her holding a steaming iron. At some point in time she has moved her hair to hang over the front of her left shoulder. As she presses the iron slowly and sensually down on the top, the camera zooms in for a quick close up of the iron and then zooms up to her breasts, before zooming down to give us a close up of the iron again. After an ironing job quicker than Shane and Spike’s first sexual encounter on Degrassi Junior High, she slips into her white top and we are given a close up view of her buttoning the button at the top of her cleavage.

iron

Okay so now I have taken Escort services out of the running. And jeans. And bras. Now in the running are:

1. Irons
2. Tops
3. Laundry detergent that keeps clothes white

All of a sudden her cleavage starts ringing. At least that is what we are still looking at when we hear a phone ring. The camera zooms out so we can see her giving herself a pat down and a little body rub in an attempt to find the ringing phone.

searching

She finally finds it in the right breast pocket of her top. She pulls it from her pocket and smiles as she views the call display, complete with picture, that tells her a boy named Alex is calling her.

Okay so the advertisement could still be about:

1. Tops
2. Laundry detergent that keeps clothes white

And now entering the contention race is:

1. Cell phones

As she reaches for the phone we hear a women’s voice speaking as you would only expect phone sex workers to speak saying, “Introducing the world’s slimmest phone”. And there you have it. Apparently the advertisement is for a cell phone. Whhhhhhaaaaaaatttttt?

What do navals and hip swagger and breasts and cleavage and buttocks and lip biting have to do with cell phones? Absolutely nothing which, along with complaints that the ad was offensive due to its overt sexuality and objectification of women, is why the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned the advertisement.

According to an article on theguardian.com, the company behind this cell phone ad defends its content saying its ad “played on the idea that the phone was so slim that it could easily be forgotten if left in a shirt pocket. They said it played on a well-known scenario − ironing a shirt, in your underwear, before going out.”

Clearcast, best known for clearing ads for UK commercial channels, had given the ad a restriction that prevented it from being shown around programs likely to be viewed by children, but decided the ad would not likely cause offence to a more mature audience. Clearly the objectification of women is not offensive enough in our society. We seem to be desensitized to it, and its no wonder with the numerous media images we see daily with content as offensive or more offensive than that of this ad.

Well guess what cell phone company I do not want to name here to avoid giving you free advertising when you objectify women in this way, Dear Daughters is #notbuyingit!

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