Friday, October 22, 2010

Are you better than Target?

I am not crafty. I aspire to be more into mommy/son art projects, but I have two hurdles: 1) kids who aren't much into coloring (which of course triggers the 'red flag' area of my paranoid psyche) and 2) this ongoing battle with Father Time who keeps telling me he won't add even one minute to my day. 24 hours?! Pffsh. Please. (P.S. Next election, I'm voting for Mother Time, who would clearly understand my needs.)

But I digress. Today, this article floated across my desk. You may (or may not) be surprised to know this kind of controversy is not an anomoly in our industry. Moms are always getting pissed about ads (hey, me included!). But the criteria for the crankiness is all over the map. More than once the trigger point has been about a mom's attempt to make something for her child, which (according to the ad) completely displeased the child, and made mom look like a fool. Or at least out of touch with her child.

Shall I remind you that ads exist to make you want to buy something to make yourself better/happier/prettier/smarter/ -er/ -er/...?

Today's "crassly offensive" case in point: Target.

If I had a little more time and creativity enabling my own handiwork, I might be miffed by this. After all, I don't want a major corporation telling me my loving, hand-made efforts for my child are useless.

At the same time, I think this spot could have saved itself from controversy with a very simple acting shift. If the mom had a different air about her - maybe if she didn't look so proud of her apparently inadequate creation but rather gave her son a look that said, "Dude, what is happening here? Grab my purse, we're headed to Target to remedy this," then the brand would put itself on mom's side rather than taking the superior-to-mom path of putting us all down and implying that in order to best show our children love, we must buy, buy, buy. All without compromising either the sale or the mother/son relationship.

Who doesn't want or need a teammate in motherhood? Come on, Target, be a team player.

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