When Did Movie Theaters Start Playing Douche Commercials?
Thrack and I went to a local theater to see the final Harry Potter movie recently. They contract with an outside service for content and ads prior to previews. It’s usually innocuous, although heavily subsidized by Sprint sponsorship, and is more or less consistent with the lowest common denominator crap all theaters play before movies. But then they played this ad.
Within 10 seconds I knew it was a commercial referring to vaginas. I wasn’t 100% sure what sort of vagina-related product they were selling me, but I knew it had something to do with my reproductive system. But when it turned out to be a “hygiene” wipe from a company that makes its money selling women the idea that there’s something inherently wrong with their bodies (which necessitates using a douche to minimize the icky nature of our shame caves), I was even more irritated and upset. I don’t want to see douche ads at the movies any more than I want to see erectile dysfunction medication, tampons or pads, urinary or vaginal infection medication or condoms up on the movie screen.
To be clear, I was not upset because women’s bodies or sexuality or sex itself is shameful and we should protect <hysteria>the children</hysteria> from it. I have a woman’s body and sexual drive and that’s wonderful. But we’re already so surrounded by advertisements bombarding us from every angle that I really don’t want to see much of anything but promotion of entertainment media, popcorn, sodas or snacks when I’m in a movie theater. It basically comes down to making sure your marketing is appropriate for the audience at hand.
The crowds who came to see Harry Potter probably aren’t going to be super impressed by the new Summer’s Eve brand wipes commercial, and people like me who find their products and marketing strategies damaging are going to be more than a little offended.
Douching is bad for your body. Advertising for douches that purports to be liberating of women (for example the incredibly condescending “how to get a promotion ad“) still trade on the idea that women’s bodies under natural circumstances are smelly, dirty, and generally icky. Any company that makes profits on making women uncomfortable and unhappy with their healthy genitals is not a company that truly cares about the advancement and equality of women. Studies have found that women who are unhappy with the appearance of or smell of their crotches tend to be significantly less sexually fulfilled, open and happy than women who are content with their bodies.
Get this crap out of my moviegoing experience.