Summer’s Eve “Hail to the V” Ads
Wow…this ad campaign is offensive on a number of levels. My first view of the ads came after reading a post this morning on Wise Latinas Linked. This is a series of ads that are directed at women in the attempt to sell feminine hygiene products from Summer’s Eve. Why are they offensive? Beyond the misogyny that runs rampant in each of their ads (some more than others), the ads also poke fun at some popular and offensive stereotypes about women of color. Because I’m also a feminist, I will be pointing out instance of racism and misogyny in the ads and you can decide for yourself if you agree. I think that the ads pretty much speak for themselves though.
The ads are split into three separate “racial groups”; White, Latina and Black. The ads target each group in their own “special” way, and it’s interesting that the ad directed at White women points out their desire to “vadazzle” their vaginas with luxury spa treatments (ridiculous!), while the ads directed at Latinas and Black women are filled with more unflattering and offensive stereotypes.
Stereotypes in the video marketed to Latinas:
- Tacky and obnoxious Latina accent that sounds horribly forced and stereotypical.
- The giving birth thing is what Latinas are all about? So what, they’re baby machines?
- Leopard thong? So, Latinas are “sexually adventurous”? This seems to play into the idea that Latinas are “exotic” and “sexually promiscuous”.
- Latinas have “seen it all”? Ok, so just how “easy” are they trying to imply Latinas are.
Stereotypes in the video marketed to African American women:
- Sassy “Black” voice, because apparently, all black women say, “Mmmm-hmm” and “Wowza”.
- Summer’s Eve thinks that Black women spend too much time on their hair and “blow off” feminine hygiene?
- According to the video, without these products, Black women are dry and itchy “down under”.
- Black women are apparently spending a lot of time out “clubbing” and hooking up after, so extra measures are needed to “stay fresh”.
Just as offensive though, was the misogynistic representation of womens’ vaginas. Their logo has morphed into a mock vagina with a visible slit down the middle and throughout the ads a vertical hand is seen talking as if it were a vaginal opening. This kind of visual could probably be found on Jimmy Kimmel Live previously, but apparently, some individuals seem to believe that it’s a positive and “empowering” representation of a woman’s anatomy.
This all coming after their rather controversial ad, telling women “How to ask for a raise,” which of course, includes “Feminine Wash” as the number one tip. Their series of ads is offensive because they imply that women are dirty and need to “clean more often” in order to avoid embarrassing situations…yeah, even at work…not just when “hooking up”. You know, they could be targeting men on this same point, but apparently, marketing to women and playing on their insecurities is more profitable. The fact is that most women will never need these products and the ads will mislead more women into believing that cleansing products are necessary in order to “feel fresh” and “avoid embarrassment”. Give me a break! Why is it that everyone is always trying to make women feel ugly and dirty?