OK folks. We're a little busy here at Bitch HQ today getting ready for our Compromising Positions Forum tonight (you're coming, right?) so it seemed like the perfect time for a Mad World open forum. The prompt: Which ads have actually compelled you to buy something? Or, have you ever purchased something just because you liked the ad?
I'll start. Last week I was at a big box store (OK, it was Target) and I was looking for some body wash. Although several brands were cheaper, and they probably all contain roughly the same ingredients, I went with Dove Cream Oil. Why? Because I like the ad! I was taken with the Dove Cream Oil ad for a few reasons. I mean, sure, the name "cream oil" makes you think that the product will moisturize the bejeezus out of your skin, but most body washes have similar names so that wasn't really a factor here. The real reasons I like the ad are due to its spokeswoman, Whitney. Not only is she super charismatic and ridiculously cute (hey, I fall victim to cuteness just like anyone else) but she is also a chubby black woman–not the norm for beauty product spokeswomen. I couldn't embed the video for the ad, but you can watch it here, and here's a screenshot of Whitney with her (now my) body wash:
My charisma and non-normativity compel you! Now, of course Whitney is still a young, beautiful, able-bodied woman, so it's not as if any major boundaries were broken here. Still, if I'm going to buy body wash, I'd rather support an ad I like than one I don't. If this ad featured the the more typical thin white woman I wouldn't have looked twice at it, but Whitney's presence prompted me to bust out my wallet. (Oh, and yes, I know Dove is owned by the ever-problematic Unilever, but I still like the ad.) This isn't the first time I've purchased something based on the ad campaign, and I'm sure it won't be the last. I guess I figure that I'm voting for quality advertising by purchasing the products (this might not be true, but I like to think it is on some level). So what I want to know is, which ads have prompted you to buy something? Have you ever purchased something you normally wouldn't have just because you thought the ad was clever/fun/interesting/unconventional? Let the open thread begin!
This project was made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH's grant program. Any views, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Oregon Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.