Normally, household chores can be a rough and time-consuming job. As our culture claims, women tend to do the majority of the house work. How would society feel if the roles were reversed? It is time to #DoItTogether. In Indesit's controversial commercial, it highlights their product, introduces gender stereotypes, and advocates equality in marriage. The infomercial uses several strategies such as emotional appeal through colors and images, facts and figures, and effective composition in order to advertise their product and divulge the truth about gender stereotypes and equality.
In this washing machine advert, Indesit featured a tight-knit, modern family with intent to emotionally appeal to families with children and bring to light on the issue of gender stereotyping. Throughout the advertisement, a spotlight was constantly shown on the father of the family. The film shows him waking up at the crack of dawn in his pajamas, making a nutritional breakfast for the family, washing and ironing laundry, and other various household chores. On the other hand, the mother, who had less of an appearance in the commercial, was briefly shown having breakfast with the family, rushing to work in her business attire, and exhaustedly coming home from work. These images of this family ultimately reveal what society might consider as “reversed gender roles”. Stereotypically, women are presumed to their house chores while men are believed to be the moneymakers. This stereotype was created in the 1970's when society viewed men and women as two different characters. According to the majority back then, women belonged at home and were responsible for all the children. They were also expected to cook and do all the housework. In contrast, men were expected to be in the workfield and were responsible for the family's income. The fact that this was considered “the norm” back then shows the lack of empathy towards men and women as individuals. According to Health Guidance, “gender roles are generally neither positive nor negative; they are simply inaccurate generalizations of male and female attributes” (2017, “List of Gender Stereotypes”). As human beings with individuals wants, thoughts, and feelings, all stereotypes do not accurately describe the attributes of every person of each gender. With that being said, this commercial portrayed a family setting with reversed gender roles in order to attempt to eradicate all gender stereotypes and to initiate argument and conversation within the audience.
When it comes to advertising, marketing, and design, color is a huge factor in grabbing attention. In advertisements, color can set or change the mood of potential buyers; therefore, advertisers and designers are knowledgeable when comes to targeting certain audiences with color. In Indesit's infomercial, #DoItTogether, producers polished the film with a combination of faded, cold and warm dark colors. According to The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding, cold, dark colors, such as violet, blue, and navy give a feeling of safety and value. Moreover, warm dark colors such as gold and brown expressed luxury and relaxation. In this particular advertisement, the cold and warm shades that appear throughout the video appeal to the audience as they correlate the colors to a caring and loving family. The hues of color solidifies the routine and protectiveness within the family; thus, they build trust within the advertised product.
An additional medium that is being used to trigger the audience is the usage of text. This method of advertising simply prompts the audience to think about the commercial's overall purpose and credibility of the product that they are selling. In Indesit's commercial, the text “Would you have reacted in the same way if it had been a woman?” was the first line in the commercial. This prompted the audience to react and question the entire commercial as a whole. In this case, the audience was forced to perceive what “typical” gender roles are and why it was set that way. Additionally, the commercial uses a statistic stating that “66% of housework is still done by women” in order to further prompt the audience to think about true gender and marriage equality: that women should be accepted to be more masculine and man to be more feminine. To drive the message home, the commercial concluded with a hashtag, #DoItTogether, and their company logo. By doing this, it ensures the original purpose of the advertisement along with adding a new perspective of marriage equality. In addition, in order for the audience to convey approval and criticism through their campaign, the company uses this hashtag in their advertisement to improve their engagement. The audience of the commercial will be able to search the hashtag if they feel the need to leave feedback or to see what many other viewers have to say. Along with the usage of text, the consideration of font and size is also an important concept of framing an advertisement. Long complicated slogans with lengthy difficult words will not be remembered by the audience. So, considering the fact that the excerpt would appear for only a few seconds, the company was effective when they decided to use a plain, white color and easy-read font for the text. On the whole, this advertisement did a imposing job with using text as medium as they effectively utilized it to conclude the ad and prompt discussion.
According to Mainstreethost, “music is often the leading factor in what elicits an emotional reaction from media viewers”. With this in mind, a commercial's tune allows the viewer to get an idea of how they should feel and what they can expect in the infomercial. In this commercial, the song that plays, “Let Me Love You”, is an an original written primarily for the sake of the ad. It was sung by Lieuwe Roonder and it ultimately sets the entire mood of the infomercial. The melodious piano in the beginning and throughout the video give a sense of warmth and comfort. The lyrics, “Let me love you”, that is repeated in the song implies the father's wants and needs to care upon his wife and kids. The father's desire for love is apparent in the video when he constantly shows his family affection by spending time with his kids, making sure his family has the proper rain gear, bathing his offspring, and making an enjoying dinner for his family. The lyrics “When I feel blue, and I'm on my knees. You are there to get me on my feet” implies how the father is always there for the family in times of distress. This is evident in the video when he was there reassure his daughter on the outfit she chose for school and to comfort his daughter when she was evidently feeling down. The lyrics “When I feel the warmth you've given me, I know that's where I want to be” indicates the family's trust and devotion towards each other. This also gives the family setting an additional appeal to the audience as they relate that lyric to affection and warmth. In the end, the composition in the song allows the engagement between the audience and commercial and further emphasizes the importance of family and the overall message: the need for marriage equality.
Whether or not the response to the advertisement was positive or negative, Indesit was able to convey their theme through the usage of several mediums. Colors and images were able to elicit trigger points through the audience as they were to perceive the family setting throughout the video. The usage of a hashtag and a brief statistic was able to induce reaction and conversation within the viewers. Finally, the lyrics and composition of the video was able to create a mood within the audience. Overall, The advertisement was effective when it comes to relaying the importance of working together and to throw some self-awareness about what the audience perceives as “typical” gender roles and why.
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