BOYS VS. GIRLS? NOT BUYING IT
It’s not every day a cordial manufacturer gets the better of me, but trying to follow the logic of Cottee’s marketing and PR departments has left me wondering whether logic is now officially a mythical creature.
A few weeks ago Cottee’s announced a campaign called “Boys Vs. Girls”.
It’s a brilliant idea, especially if you like gender stereotyping your children. You can buy a blue cordial bottle with Boys written on it (for your be-penised offspring) or a pink bottle with Girls written on it (if your child was born with an innie instead of an outie).
I presume if your kids aren’t all of a uniform sex, you have to buy two bottles or face the wrath of a pissed off primary schooler.
And if your child is transgender? Gay? Uninterested in defining themselves by a fricking cordial bottle? I suggest you lobby Cottee’s to bring out a puce-coloured bottle called “What the Frig Are You, Kid?”, just to make sure the simplistic labelling of children stays on target.
Back in November when these stupid bottles first hit the supermarkets, there was a small uproar on Facebook and Twitter, which appears to have now largely disappeared. People were understandably pissed off that cordial was not only labelled “Boys” or “Girls” complete with blue or pink labels but that it was part of a campaign called “The oldest showdown ever!”
Geddit? The human population is segregated by gender!
Better drill that into your kids’ heads now, eh parents? Better get ‘em used to a world where the gender pay gap is increasing and men still rule the roost while they’re still young!
Whether Cottee’s will admit it or not (and they won’t), their campaign is saying this: if you’re a little boy or girl, you can’t play with each other, you have to play against each other. It’s the oldest showdown ever! Bring out the pink and blue clowns and let them hit each other with Barbie dolls and Tonka trucks!
Now, this is where it gets confusing. People complained to Cottee’s and called them out on their stereotyping. Cottee’s should have said, “Sorry! Now we look at it, we can see how it might appear that our marketing department is actually a division of the Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency from Mad Men and we’ll stop taking the weird pills and come back to the 21st century”.
Surprisingly, that’s not what happened.
Cottee’s, in one of the most excellent attempts at a Jedi mind trick ever, went with the whole “nothing to see here, move on” approach.
When accused of having a sexist campaign that pigeon-holes little kids as if they’re Doris Day and Rock Hudson in some naff 1960s comic romp, their response was: “No, we’re not”. That’s it.
Their spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald that the campaign is “all about promoting fun and active play. It’s certainly not promoting one gender over the other”.
Oh touché, marketing people, touché!
No one actually said you were promoting one gender over the other, they were complaining that you were defining little kids by their sex and then making them compete in some sort of genital-based version of The Hunger Games.
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