This weekend I viewed a TV advertisement that was even more upsetting for me than the predictable Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason. Have I entered a time warp and am now living in 1955? Although I've seen this advertisement more than once, this weekend, the ad hit me like a brick in my ass. The ad is for the Swiffer Duster. In the ad, a thirtysomething woman maniacally dances around someone's house to the tune of Devo's "Whip It" which has been modified with the lyrics, "Swiff it Good." Because the ad revolves around the use of an 80's pop song, I know that I am the targeted demographic for this product. First of all, I think Swiffers kind of suck. I have one and actually find a paper towel with some Windex is a lot more effective. Aside from this, these are my problems with the Swiff it Good commercial:
1. I blame this type of televised propaganda for me being single. I mean, this commercial reinforces the stereotype that women love to clean. I have enough trouble cleaning my own house and would NEVER clean anyone else's house, even if I had the BEST cleaning tool ever. Yet, I've had at least two men break up with me because my apartment is not very clean. I don't like cleaning and I don't have much time for cleaning and this should show that I am a complex, fun, intelligent and interesting woman who would rather go out on the town than vacuum or do dishes. Most men, however, expect a woman to keep a neat and clean home and stupid ads like this reinforce this idea to men in my dating demographic. In fact, all the women that I know who spend time being clean and neat have boyfriends or husbands. I, however, agree with what Quentin Crisp once brilliantly said, "You should never clean where you live, because after four years, it doesn't get any dirtier." And if I ever meet somebody and we end up living together, I promise to pay for a cleaning service.
2. Recently, I had a friend actually SEND OUT AN EVITE asking her friends to come and help her clean out her closet. For the past month, all three members on her invite list have been busy during the proposed time. I blame the Swiffer ad for making women think it is acceptable to actually INVITE friends over like it is some kind of party to help her clean her house. As I said in statement #1, I hate cleaning. If the ad would have shown a man cleaning some strange woman's house with the duster, I think sales would skyrocket. Proctor and Gamble could have shown the woman returning home and getting it on with the man for cleaning her house. Now, that would have been a good use of the song and a much better advertisement.
3. I have to confess, I never really liked the song "Whip It." I always thought it was boring. As for the use of 80's songs in advertisement, I preferred HP's use of the Cure's Pictures of You for the HP Digital Camera. I found that ad more resonant and relevant to my life and it made me want/need a digital camera more than I want a Swiffer duster. Sometimes I feel like my memories are as disposable as the dust on my TV screen.