Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fifty Shades of Target

Target's new ad series for their "Everyday Collection" confuses and unsettles me. Not that I don't think sex has a place in advertisements--I'm all for making things sexy, really. And not that I don't love Target (I may or may not have casually spent $100 there after work tonight). It's just, Target is my Messy Ponytail and Sweatpants, Going to Buy Shampoo but Walk out with New Shoes, Idle Browsing in the Clearance Section of all the Departments Department Store.

I don't want sexy at Target. I don't want to "dominate" bake sales, "conquer" dinner ("one cut of meat at a time"), or "master" diaper-changing. What are you telling me, Target? That being a woman is about "power"--in the grocery aisle. The only ladder I should be climbing is the one reaching to the light bulb that needs changing. And let's talk about how these ads feature gorgeous (female) models dressed in all white, including heels. (Always with the heels!) What mother is wearing all white to change a diaper, much less to be in the vicinity of a baby? Why are we wearing heels to make cupcakes?

Sure, these ads make me laugh (Feeling ho-hum? Watch "Ravenous" and try not to be creeped out in a hilarious way.), but that's because I get what they're doing. Thanks to the "mommy porn" trend, we get sexy groceries. Sexy laundry. Sexy babies. (As one YouTube user commented: "Seduce those toddlers.") Nothing is off limits for advertisers as they market to new (and experienced) moms.

Personally, I'm looking forward to my non-sexy days as mother. Isn't that every young girl's dream? Work really hard in your 20's to look good and accomplish things so you can someday settle into sweats and halfheartedly work off pregnancy fat?

[Note: Almost all the video comments included positive reviews of the songs used in the commercials, so points to Target for creative music choices.]

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