I actually kind of enjoyed the latest batch of Sunsilk “Get Hairapy” commercials. They were cute and quirky and about the product. They’ve got product for flat hair, poofy hair, curly hair, straight hair. It’s all good.
Then came their not-so-brilliant blonde v. brunette spot, which I presume is supposed to be funny. Basically, it alternates between blonde and brunette women, each of them bashing their counterparts with various stereotypes (e.g. Blondes can’t read, brunettes have mustaches and are unladylike). I couldn’t find a way to make the commercial (go to either the blonde or brunette products to find the TV spot) play for me online, but I did find this on their homepage. That’s right – you can go on there and earn points for your “side.” Uh…am I the only one who finds this totally stupid and borderline offensive? Talk about playing into stereotypes. I found the “jokes” section particularly uncalled for and unimpressive.
Not to criticise without understanding the a little of the research involved in venturing down this marketing path, I poked around a bit. Sunsilk (Unilever) were so invested on using this type of marketing, they conducted a survey about the age-old (read: tired) blonde v. brunette debate. Because those surveys sure are hard proof, aren’t they? Enough to give the green light on their annoying new ad campaign, apparently.
I don’t have a problem with these kinds of products. John Frieda, for example, has had similar product on the market for ages now. I actually tried the shampoo and found it did bring out some golden highlights. I can’t recall one commercial of theirs that dredged up this pseudo “battle” to get people to buy their stuff. Instead, they merely focused on what the product was supposed to do.
The inherent problem I have with the blonde v. brunette thing is the stereotyping involved (I haven’t said that enough, have I?) as well as the fact there are other hair colors. Maybe Sunsilk will come out with a product for redheads or those with black hair, and their TV spots will have those two groups eating popcorn while watching the blondes and brunettes engage in not-so-witty repartee, laughing all the while at the sheer stupidity of it.
And it is stupid.