voicegal

voicegal
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Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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July 05
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teacher, writer, singer, actor, with a passion for gardening, traveling, and urban wildlife sightings. banner photos © 2009 by voicegal

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Salon.com
FEBRUARY 15, 2010 12:19AM

Sexist Ricola Ad goes too Far

Rate: 9 Flag
 
Since when do we need a man with his head in a woman's crotch holding her nearly bare ass in the air to sell cough drops?  I keep trying to imagine the same commercial with the genders reversed and the man similarly unclothed. It just wouldn't happen.
 
I also can't imagine that there was a woman in the board room when this advertising was pitched.  America loves dancers!  Look how smoking hot the babe is!  Isn't the sexual innuendo funny?  Men would use Ricola if they would just buy them!  Let's write a commercial that will get mens' attention! AH HA HA HA HA HA!
 
My guess is that this was a European ad tooled for the American market.  If so, next time they ought to consider the might of the female American consumer, and that she doesn't like to be treated like a piece of meat to sell cough drops.

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There's a Gain laundry detergent ad that has basically the same plot, only the woman is treated with respect in that one.
This ad would have worked better as a FDS commercial, rather than trying to sell cough drops.
agree...I turn to another channel whenever I see this commercial...I've got grandkids watching the tv with me...ridiculous
Woman in the board room? Woman writers? I don't think so.
Gross indeed. Why didn't they just have the guy turn around and really make their point, just be honest about what they're saying?
I saw this and was taken aback. That doesn't happen too often.
When I first saw this commercial I was appalled. No Ricolas for me!_r
Leepin, FDS commerial! *grin*

mimetalker, this was the first time I had seen it. Ugh.

Deborah, when will they get it that women make most of the buying decisions?

Good daughter-- it's almost that crass, isn't it.

Akopsa, me too. I was so shocked I didn't believe what I was seeing.

Joan, none for me, either!

JK, me too. And to make things worse, I saw this while watching "The Jane Austin Book Club" on Lifetime. So some idiot thought this would appeal to women and paid for it to be played at least three times last night.
Oh please, take a Valium. And it's Austen
Wow David and Leslie, thanks for telling me what's good for me, as you obviously know better than I do. David, turning off the TV will do nothing to stop the media's over-sexualized portrayal of women. Leslie, your comment basically says that you have no problems with this depiction of women. If that's so, say so, and give a cogent reason why, leaving out the junior high word play. Mis-spelling Ms. Austen's name (comments don't have spell-check) doesn't negate my point of view. Both of you could try a little more cogent commentary and a little less belittling aphorisms.
Excellent response to petty and trite comments, voicegal! Your point is very well made, and a rose by any other spelling is still a rose. Your point is very well made. I've seen this commercial many times, and it always grates on me, and if the dogs haven't carried the remote away I do turn the channel. At any rate, I'm a Hall's fan myself, and expect I'll stay with them unless they decide to exploit and demean women or any other demographic group.
As a former pair skater, ballerina and swing dancer who has been thrown into the air and dropped by a few coughing partners, I do not find this ad to be sexist or offensive at all. Viagra, Ky,FDS, and those phone chat lines, now that's gross.
Poppi, dancers, figure skaters, et al have a different perspective on their bodies and their use than us "lay people" have. But honestly, if you had 60 seconds to show us something artistically by dancing or skating, would you choose this as your choreography? How would that suit your perspective of art in performance?

David, you can do better than this sophistry. If you're trying to make a point about spreading sexism by posting its images in order to comment on them, then do so. 'Cause you know, no one on this site uses TV, DVR's, satellite, or the internets, where such things can be looked up in 30 seconds, regardless of whether I post them or not.

Does posting a photo of the President with a bone through his nose perpetuate racism? It's all in the context. If it's on a tea-bagger's blog decrying the president as a non-citizen, then yes, probably it's racist. If it's on a blog decrying the use of the image, probably not. I think my context is pretty clear, above.
The final votes are in. My hubby, who can dance like the dude in the commercial, laughed his butt off and said it reminded him of when he almost dropped me on my head during a salsa! Would the ad have been more appropriate if he split her skull open or if he wore the dance dress. Have you ever tried to pick up a male dancer? Sure, they look thin, but they weigh more than they look!
My neighbours, all female, thought it was hysterical. I think you are reading WAY TOO MUCH into this one commercial, or you have some serious body image issues. What's next? will you write to the IOC and tell them to put burkas on the female figure skaters? the gymnasts?
Poppi, I happen to know a lot of dancers, and they might find this circumstance funny in their own lives, but they wouldn't like their own butts used to sell cough drops. There's s a difference between what happens in real life in the context of art, and what is used in the media to sell items. I assume you know this. Figure skaters wear outfits to reflect the movement of the body and its line in movement for artistic purposes. Advertisers can use any storyline they wish to sell something. Using a woman with a man's head between her legs is a choice (made by many people from writers, to story boarders, to directors) not a happenstance in that commercial. If you don't believe me, go to You Tube and read all the coarse sexual comments from men about what they'd like to "do" to that poor Ricola female dancer. Those comments are elicited by the images Ricola chose to use. Not by the art of dancing or ice skating and its inherent slip-ups. I'm talking about advertising media choices. You're talking about real life dancing/dancers. You are comparing apples to oranges. (And if you want to see a commercial that uses the exact same story line without sexually exploiting the female dancer, find the Gain detergent ad that takes place in a public laundromat.)
OH give me a freaking break, you're worried about comments made by a bunch of hormonal adolescents on YOU TUBE?!! Maybe you should stop watching "You Tube." You're starting to sound like a bitter, lonely, old woman with issues, who sees perversion in everything, like the McCarthy era Red Brigade saw communism in everything.
Do you glue fig leaves over statues at your local museum to prevent their exploitation? I detect a green eyed monster rearing it's ugly head. The Gain commercial was stupid.
But I can see how this Ricola commercial could be threatening to someone with issues and insecurities. My fabulous butt and legs in ads helped pay my college tuition. I never felt exploited, I had the biggest laugh cashing the checks! My advice, stop watching TV and You Tube. Start looking in the mirror and figure out why you are such an angry person! No one ever put an angry woman on a pedestal, only the kind, the smart, the brave and the beautiful. It's a freaking funny commercial, get over it.
it was tasteless, and one of many commercials that is so
Are the drops supposed to go down THERE?
Poppi, your mean-spirited diatribe inferring all sorts of negative things about my personal life speaks for itself. I haven't attacked you, but you reply as if I have. Because you refuse to engage in civil, intelligent discourse, I won't be answering your comments again.
Wow! Whatever happened to, "Gee VG, interesting perspective but I disagree and here's why...."
Personally, seeing a figure skater's half naked butt in the air with a man's head between her legs , just doesn't put me in mind of buying cough drops. I am just having trouble making that connection. So, my conclusion is that not only is the commercial insipid, sexist and in very poor taste, it also isn't particularly good at selling the product.
Perhaps they'll find it's just an ineffective ad. I found it just kind of weird and awkward. It didn't leave me with the “Oh, yeah, I've had that happen and wondered what to do” sensation. Not even the sense of “Wow, I'm glad I know so I can avoid that problem.”

There are commercials that everyone likes but that move no product, usually because they don't leave someone with the right mental image to later trigger them to make a purchase decision at a critical time. This could well be one of them.
To clarify, I didn't mean to say this could be one that everyone likes—just that hopefully it could fail to move product. Then their finances would help them get a clue to stop doing it.
Voicegal, I suspect that you and others that are so offended by this Ricola commercial fall into the category of old, fat, ugly and, most of all, JEALOUS. I think the lady in red is gorgeous. I would marry her having never met her. Her moves are very sexy and not the least bit obnoxious. But then what else could I expect from a liberal, Hussein Obama loving web site such as this. Get a life. The commercial is great. I will buy enough Ricola for all of us. Just keep running the commercial.

May I make a final observation. There is NOTHING on this earth more desirable and cherished than a good woman. And there is nothing more hellish than a bad one. Fortunately, I had a good one for 33 years before cancer claimer her life, and in a way, mine.
After re-reading all the posts, I have concluded that most of you
are a bunch of left leaning, liberal, Obama loving misfits that are
not fit to vote in any election. You obviously are so narrow
minded that you couldn't look at any issue impartially. I think
I will call Sarah Palin and tell her goodnight and go to bed! I
feel nothing but pity for you poor souls. Do us all a huge favor
and NEVER vote in any election. Leave the voting to the normal
people.

Joe Hill
Everyone has to be outraged about something.

Shall I write a monologue about how sexist it is when the manufacturers of home-cleaning products make every ad look like the husband and kids are complete morons who are incapable of taking off muddy shoes or using a paper towel....and that the Mom is the only one in the house who's got a brain in her head?

Yeah. I'm sure there are plenty of men in the boardroom when those commercials are chosen.
I am a mom who has raised 3 children on all kinds of cough drops including ricola. Now i'm a grandmother of 2 and I can tell you this for sure MY GRAND KIDS WIll NEVER HAVE ONE OF THOSE NASTY RICOLAS... THANKS TO CARLOS AND MARIA!!!! There are much better drops on the market.
Reading all the posted comments left me rolling...from the naivety of Poppi to someone trying to blame Obama! Thank you. The most intelligent comment? Ghost writer. I love it ! Thanks to Voicegal too.
I used to like Ricola products..will not buy them any more!
This offensive sexist ad has convinced me to dump them..and persuade everyone I know to do the same.
I like the commercial. I just wish I was the guy and that my face was in the other direction so I could help myself to a snack.
Fanfreakingtastic! That chick is so hot I'm like Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory......everytime I see the ad I have to run out and buy more Riiiiiiiicola. I hope they make a sequel soon (sorry if your grandkids are reading this blog with you too - they should probably be ouside losing 40-60 lbs and not sitting in front of the TV watching Riiiiiiiiiicola ads!)
Folks, remember that for every "sexist" ad, commercial, picture, etc.,there's a woman there, in that ad, commercial, picture that is willing to let herself be "exploited" (depends on how you define it)... it happens so often, everyday, over and over...why is that? Here's a lady with an admittedly great body, willing to show a little of her ass cheek, which neither offends me, nor degrades her in the slightest from my perspective. Read too much into it, and you could come up with all sorts of scenarios regarding what's "really going on"... fu%$ it; forget it and enjoy that little bit of harmless titillation. I know I did! I've seen much worse, and so have you!
Voicegal, I agree with you 100%. The first time I saw this commercial, I thought, "Are they kidding? Now we need to use a woman's crotch to sell cough drops?" And no, these aren't the rantings of a "bitter, lonely old woman with issues" - these are comments from an intelligent woman who knows the difference between artistic dancing and using blatant, cheap, juvenile sex to sell a product. Also, your responses to the individuals who chose to post unintelligent, personally cutting remarks were perfect. Don't wate your time or energy on those types. If I had any disagreement, it would be to your reference of "that poor girl" in the commercial; she knew exactly what she was doing and what would be seen on screen. This is just another indication of the worship of the almighty dollar and the decline of our society.
I am so happy I and my husband are not the only ones that think this a crass commercial.You would think that this company could of come up with a better scenario then a woman exposing her buttocks around a mans neck with her leg bent up. Maybe skaters and dancers do this but not for cough drops and not so close up. I am indeed offended by the lack of respectability to their consumers. We have stopped buying the product
I'm a little late but I stumbled upon this blog and I just found the hypocrisy hilarious.

I just want to quote what the OP said in reply to a little criticism "Wow David and Leslie, thanks for telling me what's good for me, as you obviously know better than I do. David, turning off the TV will do nothing to stop the media's over-sexualized portrayal of women"

I had to chuckle at this, since telling me what is good for me is EXACTLY what this blog post is all about. She's all in a huff about a little skin (ashamed of the human form) and fearful of a women's sexuality. Typical middle american prudish response I guess. But the hypocrisy is that she's trying to tell ME how wrong and evil this commercial is and how it doesn't belong on MY television. But she clearly knows better than I do, as do all the comments.

Sorry the dancer isn't wearing a dress down to her ankles. Or better yet, suit pants (women shouldn't have to wear dresses that's sexist)

And yes, turning off the tv and deciding things for YOURSELF is the best course of action if something offends you. But of course that's not enough, you want to censor life for everyone else as well.