Chick flicks for breast cancer!

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You know, I want to say anything that highlights the problem of breast cancer is better than nothing. But campaigns like this make me wonder.

DVDs for the Cure promises to donate 50 cents for every sale of one of these “chick flick” DVDs to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. They promise a minimum donation of $250k over a year period, which… I’m no medical expert, but what does that buy? One piece of diagnostic equipment?

This campaign seems to be based on several problematic assumption: that all women who care about breast cancer like these movies (and don’t already own them – they’re all more than a few years old). That only women want to buy something that might help cure breast cancer.

This is not an attempt to help cure breast cancer: this is an attempt to get women to buy stale DVDs they have stockpiled in surplus. They’re using breast cancer as a marketing strategy to appeal to “chicks”.

You want to help cure breast cancer (while promoting yourself)? You put out some new DVDs that are expected to net fantastic profits, and promise some of those profits to research. You include whatever genre you expect will sell well. You put a discreet pink ribbon on the packaging or on the display standees. You do nothing to signal to buyers that this is one o’ them woman thangs, because you want no one to feel excluded. You just want to make money – and share it with a charity.

Nope, sorry. I’m calling bullshit. This is about pawning off unwanted DVDs onto women, not curing breast cancer. If you want to cure breast cancer, do a little research into which organizations are really doing the most good and then send them some moolah directly.

Comments

  1. Jennifer Kesler says

    Do you mean “women things” as in the movies for selection or the breast cancer logo? Because by this point I think men who won’t buy something because it has the pink ribbon logo on it are a relatively small segment of the population.

    Those videos in stores are in a pastel pink standee and in individual pink boxes. When I saw that much pink out of the corner of my eye, I instantly knew “There’s something being badly marketed to women.” You know the current trend: wrap it in pink and say “Hey, look, we’re pursuing the female audience!” If I didn’t run a site critiquing stuff like that, I’d have ignored it. I’m guessing men do the same – even men who do care about breast cancer.

    If I were serious about raising money for breast cancer, I’d have a variety of titles and I’d limit the pink to the ribbon.

  2. MaggieCat says

    $250,000 minimum per year is.. well, the minimum. It’s not a bad starting place, and it’s reasonable enough that the store won’t take a huge hit if it doesn’t do well (which would seem to be their own fault given the movie selection, though) so more businesses will be willing to participate.

    You put a discreet pink ribbon on the packaging or on the display standees. You do nothing to signal to buyers that this is one o’ them woman thangs, because you want no one to feel excluded.

    Do you mean “women things” as in the movies for selection or the breast cancer logo? Because by this point I think men who won’t buy something because it has the pink ribbon logo on it are a relatively small segment of the population. They currently have commercials running here for a breast cancer fund-raising promotion with Jim Tressel, the head coach of the OSU football team. (Of course this is the same man who’s been roundly criticized for things like taking someone off the team who’s been charged with rape.) I just picked up an 8-pack of Brawny paper towels that have a giant pink banner running around the package underneath their customary lumberjack logo.

    And since when is Say Anything a chick flick? I think of it as the movie that taught a generation of men to believe that stalking is romantic. ;-)

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