What's wrong with a stereotype?


Is there such an outcry about gender stereotypes in advertising? Clichés in advertising either make me howl with laughter or throw things. In either case they have the opposite effect on what the advertiser wants therefore they are just bad campaigns. However a targeted market may contain a stereotype and these can be very good campaigns.  And as we know, today's cutting edge is tomorrow's stereotype. Have you watched the iconic ‘I'd like to teach the world to sing’ Coke add recently? It makes your teeth itch it's so clichéd. The opposite of an advertising gender stereotype is a gender A-typical stereotype…which by definition is niche. Last time I checked, advertising either wants to reinforce its brand to its core buyer or take its competitors, not worry about niche. Yes of course there are boys who play with dolls, men who enjoy catalogue shopping or talk to strangers while having a pee; even women who hunt bears or smell their socks before throwing them in the laundry basket. Just because these groups exist why is a Marketing Executive made to feel guilty about an advertising campaign that gives him the biggest bang for his buck and does not address small groups? "I'm awfully sorry Mr. CEO for spending a zillion £,€,$ or ¥ on a campaign for washing up liquid aimed at bricklayers. But research shows 3.267549% wash dishes too you know and some are keen to have soft hands." This nonsense is spouted by people who have no common sense. They are just incensed. In the interest of being more inclusive to minorities may I suggest their views should only be reported for six months in niche periodicals like the Newt Lover's Gazette, The Macramé Times or Morris Dancer's Today  to reach those people who might be interested in their message but not read national newspapers, listen to the radio or watch TV?

...and another thing

As well as wanting more inclusiveness, these same folk decry exclusiveness. They always get authorities to outlaw first place prizes in the local school egg and spoon race as it discriminates against the other competitors.

Yup, they lost. Only Salieri rejoiced in Mediocracy. No one cares. We all remember Mozart.

These ‘levelers’ rejoice that University Double Firsts are handed out like Smarties. They can’t work out that this just devalues the peak of excellence, bringing the genuinely gifted to the same level as simply earnest and good.

Would these tireless campaigners be happy to have brain surgery by a med student who really wanted to be a surgeon but flunked?

“Darling let’s go to a concert. I paid £1000 for a box to listen to Florence Foster Jenkins. Not good. Excruciating really, but we can’t only listen to talented people…”

The tragedy of poor Florence is no one told her that her singing could curdle milk at 100 paces. When she did find out the heartbreak killed her. That’s the damage.

So please next time you see something good just be grateful it appealed to you…and realise it probably did to millions of others. Just maybe not everyone……

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