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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Make Equality, Not Sexism by Caitlin, Year 10

I’m aware that I’ve already complained about adverts enough. Unfortunately, because I am a teenage schoolgirl from the East Midlands not a lot is changing. So, I hear you ask yourself, what is it I’m ranting on about now? Well, it’s the new ‘Lynx Peace’ advert.  While the intentions of the advert are good - stop shooting people and start loving them instead, the presentation is clumsy and tactless. Watching the advert one can’t help but feel a little awkward as serious conflicts around the world are made light of. The advert follows the usual Lynx formula- attractive women throwing themselves onto equally attractive men; but it introduces a controversial twist.  The men are all powerful soldiers or war leaders and the women stop them from killing everyone. The main problem with this advert is how racist it feels; only showing other countries’ contentious skirmishes. The most provocative of all of these is a scene depicting North Korea with Kim Jong Un ordering soldiers to make a grand romantic gesture to a miserable looking girl (I believe it’s meant to be his wife, Ri) who ends up holding his hand. Oh yes everyone, let’s spray Lynx at Kim Jong Un, that ought to solve our problems!  At best we’ll asphyxiate the man which probably wouldn’t help a great deal. This advert was made in a Western country yet it completely ignores any wars which the target audience could possibly have been involved in. The advert is trying to tell people to stop fighting but the countries depicted are never even going to see the advert so it instead feels a little like it’s making fun of these countries without any actual purpose.

Another problem with the advert is that it doesn’t exactly empower women. I mean, sure, it shows them preventing major conflicts, but with what? Their appearance? In fact one of the women in the advert doesn’t even appear to know the soldier she starts to throw herself upon; so much for girl power. Even if you’re going with the argument ‘Lynx is selling to men not women’ that doesn’t exactly justify the fact that both sexes will watch the television and it isn’t really encouraging boys to respect women. If Lynx want to promote something other than deodorant maybe, just for once, they should try eliminating sexism and rape culture rather than happily encouraging it.

Reactions to the advert are mixed some saying that they ‘found it sweet’ and others saying that they ‘couldn’t quite believe what [they were] seeing’. Some people on the social network, ‘Reddit’ were even planning to boycott Lynx or Unilever in general. The main point is that such a controversial advert may be ‘good marketing’ but it shouldn’t exist because of its offensive tone which makes light of real, distressing situations in such a way that it almost seems to advocate them.

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