All women need is a wild cherry steam thing.


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I really don’t even know what to say about this, but it was too bizarrely sexist to not post.
Via.

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26 Comments

  1. Kate
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I’m just dirty-minded, but I’ve always heard “women have needs” as a “nice” way of saying that the ladies like to cross that sexual finish line too, so step it up, dudes. But who needs orgasms when you can steam your laundry!
    Um, me.

  2. alixana
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I loooove and totally desire all of the new-fangled washer/dryers.
    But, so does my dad, who splits laundry duties with my stepmom. So. Where’s his ad, Best Buy?
    I once had a boyfriend who’d leave, without asking permission, all his dirty clothes in my laundry basket when he came over because he perceived I had more free time than he did (in reality, he was just lazy – he worked a normal 8 hour day, I was in law school). He used to get so angry when he’d come back over and find my stuff clean and his still dirty in the laundry basket. I still feel gleeful thinking about it.

  3. Posted September 22, 2008 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I was worried I was going to have to ask a stupid question. Now I feel much better (thanks to the comments).
    Since I grew up in a house with only guys (me, my dad and my brother), I learned to cook and do laundry pretty young, so there’s no stigma on that.
    I’m always surprised that there are girls who have never been with a guy who does laundry. They get really excited about it, because I guess it’s not something that guys are smart enough to do, or think they should.
    I will say, that study about men who do laundry having better relationships is, from personal experience, spot on.
    I want to see a laundry machine commercial aimed at men.
    Anyway, long comment, but I’m in a stream of consciousness mode, and it’s a monday.

  4. Bethanyla
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    This ad sort of takes sexist cleaning product marketing to a whole new level. It’s not just that it generically associates good motherhood and femininity with clean/germ free home/clothes/dishes etc, but also portrays it as biological “needs.” Igh. Also, it portrays women as totally ignorant to the function of the appliance, and totally impulsive and childish: “I need this pretty, shiny, cleaning thingy right now, who cares what it does!”
    Sometimes, when I see advertising this blatantly oblivious I worry for the effect it has on society’s perception of women and our perception of ourselves. Google video “Target women” or see the Sarah Haskins Feministing video post for more “blegh” examples.

  5. Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate the comments taking care of half of the things I was going to say.
    But my other question is really, what exactly is going on here??? “wild cherry steam thing”?? Are they trying to mock their own product? I don’t get it…

  6. alixana
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get it either, frau sally benz. I would think that calling your product a “thing” would be the number one thing to NOT do in a marketing campaign.
    And the color’s great – I’ve always hated the eggshell colored washer/dryer sets. But if I’m buying that product, I’m going to buy it because of the “steam” part, regardless of the wild cherry color. We can SEE that it’s a wild cherry color, I don’t think reiterating that in the headline’s doing them any favors.

  7. Brad
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I no longer need a Christmas gift idea. I can put off the soap, mop, and bucket idea until next year!
    Then just maybe for my birthday my wife will give me what I need. New locks on the house (without the keys)!
    Okay she wouldn’t really do that, she’s better than that, but fortuntely I also know better than to give her a gift for her “needs”.

  8. Danyell
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Oh c’mon, surely Best Buy knows that women of all people can recognize a washing machine!
    …But I am really confused to just how to be offended by this. Am I a mindless shopper? Or the only one who does laundry? Wha??

  9. Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    This add is strange. So they’re making it seem like women live for appliances and that appliances are totally our gender’s domain, part of “a woman’s needs,” but then the chick with the great hair in the ad calls the washer and dryer a “steam thing.” She doesn’t even know it’s technical name? I can’t decide whether she’s being portrayed as ignorant and I should be offended by this portrayal, or the girl’s tone is supposed to be flippant and casual. Damn print ads! They make sexism that much harder to detect! Still, given that print ads are harder to interpret, one’s message should be made clearer. The ambiguity of this woman’s response to the appliances (ie. Whether she actually is supposed to sound stupid) is troubling to me.

  10. Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    This add is strange. So they’re making it seem like women live for appliances and that appliances are totally our gender’s domain, part of “a woman’s needs,” but then the chick with the great hair in the ad calls the washer and dryer a “steam thing.” She doesn’t even know it’s technical name? I can’t decide whether she’s being portrayed as ignorant and I should be offended by this portrayal, or the girl’s tone is supposed to be flippant and casual. Damn print ads! They make sexism that much harder to detect! Still, given that print ads are harder to interpret, one’s message should be made clearer. The ambiguity of this woman’s response to the appliances (ie. Whether she actually is supposed to sound stupid) is troubling to me.

  11. Tom
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Don’t women parts rot and fall off unless the woman owns a wild cherry steam thing? I’m pretty sure that was some sort of rule. Isn’t the lack of women with wild cherry steam things a big problem in the third world?

  12. Nimue
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the words “wild,” “cherry,” and “steam” are meant to be a bit of sexual innuendo. It goes with Sara Haskin’s analysis about using romance to sell cleaning products.
    All of a sudden I have a mental image of that woman sitting on the dryer so she can combine housework and orgasms.

  13. thegecko
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I hate the assumption that cleaning is a woman’s job. The rule in my house is that each person is responsible for their own laundry. I don’t have time to do it all and the last time my husband took it upon himself to run mine, my favorite lace bra wound up stuck to the industrial-strength velcro on a pair of his pants. We divvy up the rest of the housework according to who has the heavier workload outside the home. I.e., if we’re balancing roughly the same load at work/school, then we each do half the cleaning.
    That said, he’s always been way more excited about kitchen gadgets and other household appliances that I have. I took him to our bridal shower so he could open all the presents and revel in the new cookware (He does 99% of the cooking, mainly because he likes it and he’s way better at it than me). There’s a picture in our photo album of him hugging the salad spinner, grinning from ear to ear. When my relatives found out about his domestic inclinations, the actually asked me if I was sure he wasn’t gay.

  14. Posted September 22, 2008 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    That looks like one really hard-to-put-together sex toy.

  15. ShifterCat
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I, too, thought “wild cherry steam thing” sounded like some kind of sex toy.
    Customers at the sex shop I used to work at would always laugh when I mentioned the possibilities of a toy with a suction cup: “stick it to the wall, stick it to the floor, stick it to the washing machine in spin cycle…”

  16. allegra
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    WT … F. Gee, I wish I had the luxury of going about and buying expensive “wild cherry”-colored appliances whose specific uses I really didn’t know. I can hardly afford plain regular white appliances.
    Could Best Buy possibly make women look any more exceedingly clueless, ignorant, and shallow.

  17. sepra
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure that this ad is targeting men, not women.
    It actually reminds me of some liquor ads, where you think they might be targeting women, but they’re not. Men still tend to be the main decision makers for major family purchases in the US, and it would be foolish of marketers to target women completely in their advertising.
    You have someone that looks like an attractive wife telling you that she has needs and she needs you to fulfill her needs with something “cherry” and “steamy.” Basically, it’s telling men that you will get laid by your wife if you buy her this product.
    Women are not the target.

  18. Judith Jewcakes
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    @ sepra: Oh, that’s even better! Not only is it sexist, but a ploy to get wives to put out more!
    I can’t say I agree, though. Household products are overwhelmingly targeted towards women. Although men may be the primary decision makers, that doesn’t mean all the ads are directed towards them–the idea is supposed to be that the woman sees the ad and decides she wants it, and then asks the husband to get it, he decides if it’s worth the money, and then either buys it or doesn’t.
    Several things about this ad look like it’s targeted towards women. It’s a head shot of the model looking content. The colors are soft pastel. The actual product is not the focus. These are common marketing techniques to get women, rather than men, to pay attention to the ad. Men’s ads tend to be the opposite: dark or bold colors, including red; focus on the product, looking as sexy as possible; and a LOT less text. And if a woman is involved, she is half-naked, a la the liquor ads you’re referring to.

  19. sarahcat
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    I saw the name as an imitation of makeup names for lipstick, blush, etc. They all seem to have food name. Or possibly the name of some dessert. Or something sexual like others have said. Whatever the name is trying to remind the customer of, I think it’s supposed to suggest indulgence– “Oh, I shouldn’t have this wild cherry thing, but I will. I’m so naughty!” It’s trying to make washing clothes sound like indulgent treat. Lame.

  20. bobbigrl
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    You guys need to lighten up, a lot of women like appliances and there was nothing wrong with that advertisement- it was not sexist.
    Why don’t you focus on something really important and stop making are cause seem ridiculous.

  21. Judith Jewcakes
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 9:57 pm | Permalink
  22. oneragingstar
    Posted September 23, 2008 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    What a woman needs: a laundry machine that looks like an ipod. Clearly everyone has gone insane.

  23. envirogirl
    Posted September 23, 2008 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Okay, so why is it that what a woman wants is an appliance that will help her to do the daily chore of washing her clothes or normally the entire household? Wouldn’t she want like a book, a movie, a new car, or something that she likes? I know that my mom would like to have a cool washer and dryer because it would make her life easier with “steam washing” and such but if she didn’t have to do the laundry, she wouldn’t want a cherry washer. It just seems weird that the majority of women are still responsible for doing the daily chores even though women have started to work an 8 hour week just like their husbands, so when new advances come out in that technology, it is told to women. Why not have a man’s add say, “Here is an easier way to do laundry or to help out the significant other in your life?”

  24. envirogirl
    Posted September 23, 2008 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Okay, so why is it that what a woman wants is an appliance that will help her to do the daily chore of washing her clothes or normally the entire household? Wouldn’t she want like a book, a movie, a new car, or something that she likes? I know that my mom would like to have a cool washer and dryer because it would make her life easier with “steam washing” and such but if she didn’t have to do the laundry, she wouldn’t want a cherry washer. It just seems weird that the majority of women are still responsible for doing the daily chores even though women have started to work an 8 hour week just like their husbands, so when new advances come out in that technology, it is told to women. Why not have a man’s add say, “Here is an easier way to do laundry or to help out the significant other in your life?”

  25. Paul
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    I think they called it a thing to get people to turn the page on the pamplet. It was to draw people in. Why they call it wild cherry I don’t know. It is clearly red.
    I want to say that I am intrigued. I tried to find the original document, but was unable. I did find many comsumer ratings and some press releases. This steam set up seems like some impressive stuff. Its going to make my whites whiter and get rid of odors.

  26. Ms_X
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Awesome. A giant vibrator that will also do my laundry. I’m sold.

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