Social media has proven time and time again that it is a ninja raising awareness, causing chaos or in this instance, karate chopping (hiiiyahh) sexism in advertising.
For the past two years and before the existence of this blog, I would sit every Super Bowl Sunday in my yoga pants and Redskins jersey (yes, I’m aware they haven’t been to the big game since ’91) cross-legged on the couch nomming on mini potato skins (with bacon!), nachos con queso, watching teams of men go at it on the field to be the best in the nation. (Cue testosterone grunt.) And then there are the commercials drawing in the non-football fans to the TV. I think these commercials are always overhyped and in my opinion, pretty terrible and lack of creativity (except for this one) because they too often degrade women, over sexualize women, and objectify women. For the record: If men were portrayed in these big game ads in similar ways, I would have the same problem. Why? Because “sex sells.” But me and many others are not buying it!
My thought: if the products and services were any good they wouldn’t need sex to sell them, amiright?
How many times did we see that Go Daddy commercial starring the first professional female race car driver, Danica Patrick and had NO CLUE WHAT GO DADDY WAS TRYING TO SELL?!?! This ad created that shock and awe factor I’ve talked about before, a buzz around the commercial that led people to figure out (thanks, Google) what or who Go Daddy is and what he was hiding under all that unnecessary sexism. This ad and many others are prime examples of advertising abuse, or not using advertising for the sake of selling, but for the sake of shocking (and awing).
These ads left a bad taste (and no, it wasn’t the queso) in the mouths of viewers everywhere who took to Twitter to share their disgust and concern by using the hashtag #NotBuyingIt. The #NotBuyingIt campaign, created by The Representation Project, is a movement that uses film and media content to expose injustices created by gender stereotypes and to shift people’s consciousness towards change. Due to the success of the campaign in the 2012 and 2013 Super Bowls an app was launched, which you can download for free from iTunes and upload your own examples in the media and everyday life of how sexism won’t sell.