Monday, July 07, 2008

Genital Mutilation Awareness Advertising Hits Women Where It Hurts.

(click image for closer look)
Advertising gets intrusiver-er. Puking drunk chicks in your public bathrooms. Hungry African children in your shopping carts. Now: trying on a bathing suit at a department store isn't traumatic enough for women—let's stick a rusty razor blade in those bikini bottoms! Via Contrapunto BBDO in Barcelona, these special in-store hygienic protectors are for the Association of Women Against Genital Mutilation (AMAM). What about mental mutilation? Even the usually subtle-as-an-ax Amnesty International displayed some restraint on this issue with these sewn-up LadyFlower ads. But, I'm not a woman. Maybe this isn't overstepping the line? Ladies, what do you think?

18 Comments:

Blogger elaineisthebest said...

I seriously thought that was a maxi pad that image was printed on. (Perhaps that's their next market?)

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

I am not a woman. But I know the feeling one gets when even thinking of scissors and what we in Holland refer to as 'the young gentleman'.

One has to wonder if ads like these don't miss their mark and become coutnerproductive though.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Chandra said...

Seeing as so many people are completely oblivious to the fact that FGM still goes on, I am all for it.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Blaize said...

Well, I am a woman, and the razor in the panties? Um, not so much. Overall I vote: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING JESUS NO ONE WILL EVER BUY A SWIMSUIT AGAIN!

Sorry. Was that my out-loud voice?

It's most likely effective in getting women to think about genital mutilation, but the overall message that my swimsuit might cut off my bits is a tad, well, nutty.

5:51 PM  
Blogger qtilla said...

Well, I suppose it depends on whether you would like to raise awareness over genital mutilation or whether you're too delicate to face reality.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Sure, it's graphic, but where's the context? It makes it look like FGM is something that just "happens", perhaps by not checking the crotches your of underwear/swimsuit before putting them on. It leaves you thinking about sneak attack razors and not about how you can find out more information or help.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous peachfuzz said...

As mentioned, it raises awareness, but then what? What government is going to address it? OURS?

Bwhaaaa haa haa. Only if they had oil, then we could call mutilators 'terrorists' as an excuse.

For use of marketing, it's brilliant, really. But to solve the problem practically ???

Small, frustrating steps, I guess.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's an interesting idea and a worthy cause, but at some point you want to be able to close the (changing room) door and escape ads for awhile.

Plus the last thing you want is for women to associate genital mutilation/razors/pain/discomfort/guilt/etc. with your bathing suit brand.

8:51 AM  
Blogger spencer said...

It leaves you thinking about sneak attack razors and not about how you can find out more information or help.

the last thing you want is for women to associate genital mutilation/razors/pain/discomfort/guilt/etc. with your bathing suit brand

I agree. A good idea that still misses the mark.

9:58 AM  
Blogger First Mate said...

It's a strong idea designed to shock. And it does. They're not trying to stop you buying a swimsuit, they trying to make you think about what is a real issue. Tactically brilliant. And yes, I am a woman.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When a bra brand supports breast cancer by showing a pink strap twisted into the support ribbon, that's taking a brand and elevating it along with the cause.

When a bathing suit brand (think fast: which one is supporting this cause?) puts an ad designed to shock and make you think into the crotch of the bathing suit you're trying on (and FYI, those maxi-pad things are in all bathing suits to protect you from catching other women's cooties), what you get is a total disconnect: hey! feel awful and revolted while trying on this tummy-thinning bathing suit!

Does nothing for the brand or the cause. Right message, totally wrong place. Yes, it gets people to think and perhaps even act, but it does so to the detriment of the brand--and, for women, gives them another reason to feel awful about trying on bathing suits.

So yes, it's good to raise awareness. But no, not at any cost.

1:16 PM  
Blogger copyranter said...

Very well thought out, anon. People ain't used to that from this site...well at least from me.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous scamps said...

Another reason to feel awful about trying on bathing suits? Fear of attacks with razor blades? Aren't we getting a little ridiculous here?

This is coming from a woman, AND someone who can be very sensitive to advertising.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given that the target audience (and, perhaps, only audience) is "award show judges", the bigger question might be "how obscene is a razor in the crotch when the awareness raised is mostly 'of someone's portfolio'...?"

Perhaps some sort of one-legged landmine motif could be worked into it, for bonus adwank kudos?

It would be nice to think I was wrong on calling this as yet another showy guerilla spoof ad ... but do you think, really? And while it might barely rate a mention when inviting discussion on such earnestly aggressive pandering, I think it could/should be flagged for what it is, if, indeed, it is. Otherwise, this kind of stuff is granted a level of respect that it really doesn't deserve.

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scamps, you take me too literally. I meant feeling awful about the plight of women who are mutilated adds yet another burden to the awful trying on of bathing suits. So now you have Am I too fat?, Where did this come from?, Do my legs really look like that? and Dear God, these poor girls get what done where?

So the whole experience just feels worse. And you don't buy any bathing suit at all. And yes, I'm a woman, in case you're wondering.

Gratuitous ad placement = 1
Shop owner = 0

8:59 AM  
Anonymous hysperia said...

I wouldn't buy the bathing suit and I'd be hard-pressed to support the organization who placed it. Do they put razor blades in men's bathing suits, or is it only women who are being shocked into attending to this atrocity? I don't much care where the ad is or why it works re: this issue. This just doesn't work.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually it is men that need to be enlightened (just as with violence against women in any form) as it is really their problem, women are just the recipients. And I know women go along with it in some countries but that is just a case of brainwashing. It doesn't matter how aware the usual victims are,as another victim will be sought after if the perpetrator fails to victimize the first.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This adv'seems to align itself more with the universal "store policies" that instruct women to MAKE SURE that she only tries on a bathingsuit whilst wearing Panties- Hygiene in mind of course. When I first saw this ad I thought to myself that this razorblade in undergarments was another way to deter womyn from trying on bathingsuits a la Commando. Freaky Pussy, or rather FREAK OUT MY PUSSY/GENETALIA...'Def not an effective political campaign against FEMME CLITORAL MUTILATION!!!!!!!!

12:53 AM  

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