Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Lame Sexist Marketing Email

India Today Book Club sent me an email today, that had "Congratulations Unmana" (that's right, no punctuation) in ugly large red font. And what was I being congratulated for? For being able to buy a dining set for about 1/5th of the original price. Oh wait, there's more:

"An ideal gift for all the Special Women in your life - Mother, Wife and Daughter.
A perfect blend of luxury & lifestyle that will mark them to be the perfect host."

Look at the amazing layers of thought they managed to convey:
  1. Women don't read books. (This was from the "Book Club", remember? I vaguely remember registering to buy books sometime - which I probably didn't buy after all. But going by this, not only do we not read, we don't even buy books.)
  2. Or at least, the ones that do don't want dining sets.
  3. The special women in your life can only be "Mother, Wife and Daughter"(sic). Girlfriends, sisters, mothers-in-law, friends and any other women you know can of course, never be special.
  4. A dining set is the ideal gift for a woman.
  5. A dining set is only for women.
  6. The ideal gift for a woman is one that enables her to be a perfect host.
  7. Men don't want to be perfect hosts. (Or maybe they can get there without the help of the extra-special dining set?)
Did I miss any?

Edited on 27 April: The good news is that I just got that same piece of trash in my inbox again a few minutes ago. Doesn't seem to be working very well for them, does it? I bet they're wondering why. 

12 comments:

@lankr1ta said...

well, women can have women int heir lives, whom they would buy books for perhaps- that they forget

D said...

How come we never gift a man a dining set or a bedsheet or a some other household object? And why gift something as impersonal as that to a woman on any occasion?!

Just a grail said...

LOL!!!!!
You KNOW the guys who wrote that amazing piece of advertisement were grinning and slapping each other on the back over that one!

HA!

Nil said...
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Unmana said...

Alankrita: Indeed. But I guess you would buy crockery for women, not books?

D: Don't we? Maybe we should, then!

As for it being impersonal - I think that's a matter of taste. Though I do think a dining set is a gift for a 'formal' occasion.

Grail: I'm sure they were!

Indian Home Maker said...

Unless they have books on recipes and child rearing... they can only offer dinner sets on special occasions.

simplypallu said...
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simplypallu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
simplypallu said...

Yes:
1. An "ideal gift for...women" implies that women should ideally only be cooking / serving food.
The following are not sexist, but dumb all the same.
2. The "perfect blend of luxury & lifestyle" implies that their idea of lifestyle and luxury begins and ends with dinner / dinner sets.
3. On highlighting "1/5th of the original price." Do they think we're stupid enough to not know its real worth in the first place? When was the last time, a store sent out gifts that it could not cover the costs for. What we receive for as free or discounted has almost always already been paid for in some other way. Innit?

Unmana said...

IHM: Indeed!

Pallu: True :-)

Sujeet Pillai said...

I think it's sexist against men as well (is that the right usage?). The stupid book club believes that we men are:

1 - Stupid and can't think up our own gift for the special women in our lives - Mother, Daughter, wife, maidservant and Sonia Gandhi!

2 - That we're cheap and we'd want to save 80% for a gift that we'd want to give to these special women!

Unmana said...

Sujeet: Sexism hurts both men and women. That's one big reason why feminism is good for men as well as women. (I've been meaning to do a post on that, btw.)

As for being cheap if you buy a gift at 20% of its price - I won't call that cheap, I'd call that smart! The Guy bought me a dress as a surprise some weeks ago, and while I was ecstatic at the romantic gesture, I was even happier because he hadn't spent a lot on it.