When women in advertising became refreshingly real

If I were to tell you that She’s a Writer was born simply from my unadulterated love of writing, I’d be lying to you and myself. The fact is that I wanted to create something real, something that young women could relate to. The artificial nature of social media and advertising means that we only see the picture perfect, hashtag worthy moments of people’s lives that they want us to see, which can leave us with a lingering sense of inadequacy about our own lives.

So when I came across adverts that showcase real women completely mocking this social culture, I couldn’t help but share them with you. As a copywriter in a marketing and design agency, I loved the scripts for both adverts and see their creative concepts as paving stones for a new kind of real and transparent advertising industry.

Girls Don’t Poop – PooPourri.com

Shit just got real.

Poo-Pourri is a before-you-go toilet spray described as the ‘classy, sassy, ultra effective way to leave the bathroom smelling better than you found it.’ You spray the toilet, do your business and thanks to Poo-Pourri’s odour trapping scent, there will be no evidence that you went for a poo at all.

But where do I start? Perhaps the advert’s first line “You would not believe the mother load that I just dropped,” spoken so delicately by a woman who is the pinnacle of the term ‘English rose,’ yet confesses that she has just ‘birthed a creamy behemoth from [her] cavernous bowels.’

I LOVE the juxtapositions throughout this ad and I think these are what makes it so relatable and laugh-out-loud hilarious. The fact that the actress speaks and looks so elegant, but is then discussing her ‘tenacious skid marks’ and the times where she has ‘stunk up’ her lover’s apartment, mocks how women are expected to be creatures of perfection, when we are humans too.

I recently listened to the Girlboss Radio podcast with Suzy Batiz – Founder and CEO of Poo-Pourri, and she said that when they were holding auditions for the lead of the ‘Girls Don’t Poop’ ad, less than 10 women actually auditioned which speaks volumes for the image women are expected to maintain.

Organic Balance: Real Morning Report

The beauty of this advert is the extent to which it satirises the idyllic image of women perpetuated in advertising. Organic Balance offers an organic breakfast in a bottle and the company surveyed 1,000 women to find out what their mornings are really like.

To set the scene, we are welcomed by a beautiful, toned woman in her all white, designer apartment, who says “Like all women in commercials, I love to start each day by doing yoga in my underwear.” We then see a woman journaling in her ‘journaling nook’ and another ‘eating a wholesome farm fresh breakfast with a tiny spoon.’ It’s honestly enough to make you want to stab yourself in the eye with said tiny spoon.

But then, the patronising and overly self-satisfied voices are replaced by busy working women giving statistics about what a real morning is like. With so many articles online telling you all the so-called incredible things you could be doing in the morning before the clock even reaches seven, it’s so refreshing to be told that “according to science, most professional women don’t have time for any of that.”

My three favourite statistics in this video are:

  • 50% of women will swear at someone or something this morning
  • Only 16% of women would describe their morning with the hashtag ‘blessed’
  • 9% of women cite dry shampoo as one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century

And then that’s where the product comes in. Of the 1,000 women surveyed, we are told that all of them had time for Organic Valley’s nutritious protein filled breakfast, which gives a healthy start to the day and helps to ‘seize the cray.’ I think this is such a clever way to sell a product, particularly when adverts for yoghurts and breakfast cereals are normally so unrealistic and false.

What are your thoughts on how women are portrayed in advertising? Are adverts like these helping us to move forward?

Sarah x

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  • John Espirian September 22, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Nice post, Sarah. I love the fact that PooPourri is a real product. Now that’s good advertising!

    In general, I don’t think either women or men are portrayed accurately in advertising. But then it’s never been about accuracy: it’s always been about what’s effective. I think people are becoming more savvy these days, though. My advice: just be more human.

    • sarah.mullaney1996@hotmail.com October 15, 2016 at 7:52 am

      Thanks John! I still haven’t bought it haha but I love the creative concept – that’s the type of idea I’d love to come up with one day! I completely agree with you, it’s just about what sells but I think that real and funny advertising as opposed to being artificial is becoming more popular and will soon lead the way in advertising. Thanks again!

      Sarah