Preface: this post makes no sense after my last one. Whatever, it’s on my mind rather heavily, so I gotta spit it out.
My dad forwarded this video to me and my mom and sister, because it’s funny, etc. (don’t worry, Dad, I had this post brewing for a while before you sent me this.) Ugh, it’s like 5 minutes long, so I’ll spare you: a guy gets his wife a vacuum cleaner for Christmas, she throws him in “the doghouse”, which is an actual place where clueless unromantic men go and they can never get out, unless they buy their wives diamonds.
Obviously, I should have seen the punchline coming: it’s all an ad for JC Penney’s jewelry counter, and I will only mention them by name (and give them free publicity) so I can rail on them.
THIS KIND OF ADVERTISING IS REALLY AWFUL LIKE ENTIRELY NOT ALLOWABLE IT SHOULD NOT EVEN BE LEGAL THESE GREEDY AD MAKERS SHOULD GET THEIR GRUBBY FINGERS TORN OFF
Let me back that statement up. Of course this ad campaign is silly and over-the-top. I mean, look at the “how to get out of the doghouse” page. But we laugh at this, and the idea is still implanted in our minds: you have to buy your wife jewelry. Some ad campaigns are a little more serious, like one I saw on Black Friday, which I don’t entirely remember, but it was something like “What would you do for love?” with a picture of a diamond. And some are more subtle. Fill in the blank:
A diamond is _____
Yeah. Right. You know how to finish that sentence. Thank De Beers. It’s a cultural thing now! They’ve just created this market! And now a bunch of lily-livered men go out and buy their wives diamonds so they don’t get put “in the doghouse.”
So it’s a good ad campaign, fine. Why is this worse than, say, Coca-cola? They’re good at ads too, and they’re making the world fat. But diamond ads are worse than Coke for three reasons, and many (most?) jewelry ads are guilty of the third:
1. Blood diamonds
2. Monopolistic business practices
3. They’re preying on love.
And it’s 3 that really gets me. Isn’t that sacred? Can’t we just agree that men and women loving each other is not okay to mine for advertising opportunities? Aren’t we past the age of “the husband has to buy the wife pretty things because he’s the big breadwinner”?
Isn’t it really pretty scuzzy to implant into men the idea that “yeah, we know she’ll still love you if you don’t buy her jewelry, but maybe… just maybe… she won’t find you quite so alluring… and maybe she’ll get mad at you, or maybe not, but maybe she’ll develop a thing for that sexy flashy high-roller at the office, or… I mean, not saying your wife would ever think something like that… just sayin'… well… you wouldn’t want to test it, would you?” And then implant a nice societal faux pas on trying to break this system, (“Honey? I’m not buying you a diamond for Christmas because I don’t want to support an insidious machine.") because it means you’re cheap.
Third-to-finally, I wish I were a woman for 15 minutes so I could post this without just being accused of trying to avoid buying diamonds at some point in the future.
Second-to-finally, a source… did you notice that 80-minute documentary I posted at #2 up there? (ironically on a diamond seller’s website…) I think I’ve seen this before, in Mr. Hess’s 12th grade economics class, and I think it’s a pretty good watch, if you have 80 minutes. I understand if you don’t, I never do. It got me pretty convinced that De Beers and the diamond industry (more or less one and the same, at least back then) are really quite awful folks.
AND FINALLY, okay, NOW I’m done with hard-line rants for a while. I am all spent on righteous indignation (and generally tired, besides!). Thank you for reading, thank you for bearing with me, I love you all, enjoy the holiday season, and I actually do mean that honestly.
Also, have you noticed that in commercials, guys are basically trying to meet their woman’s needs (as in diamond commercials) or else buffoons (as in every other commercial)?
Imagine if women were depicted as generally silly, or told that they ALWAYS had to buy their men big expensive trucks for the holidays.
Commercials are pretty sexist.
PS: To be fair, women and men are equally depicted as sex objects. Women are generally skinny and buxom, while men have muscles, good-smelling dry armpits, and smooth cheeks (that make women want to nuzzle them)
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