Sunday, February 3, 2008

Playtex and the Amazing 18-hour Bra

Have you seen this commercial? An attractive woman wearing a bra asks "What could you do in 18 hours?", and then, to the beat of some generic background music, proceeds to tell us what she could do in 18 hours. Out of the seemingly infinite number of options, she chooses the following 2 things: 1)go to lunch with her Milan, or 2)"shake things up a bit." After awing the audience with this array of options, the woman looks directly into the camera and concludes, "In 18 hours, I could do anything."

In interest of full disclosure, neither my physique nor my lifestyle require the support of an 18 hour bra. That being said, I find the logic of the advertisement faulty, if not downright ridiculous. First, there is the incongruent rhetoric of the 2 examples given. The first activity is extremely specific, identifying the who (husband), what (lunch), and where (Milan).The second activity is extremely generic and, consequently, absolutely meaningless. What, exactly, does she plan to shake up, and how? The only thing the two activities seem to have in common is that both would be considerably more interesting without wearing of said bra.

Rhetoric aside, the two activities seem to make a poor argument for the commericial's thesis that a woman, if freed from the restrictions of run-of-the mill brassiers, can do anything. The question must be asked: what activities require a woman to wear a bra for 18 hours? What woman on a typical day is on the go from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.? An executive? Maybe. A single mother working two jobs? Perhaps. Maybe the female pilot of the plane to Milan? Or the candidate for President on the campaign trail? None of these activities are offered in the advertisement as possible 18-hour fillers . In fact, the thesis of the advertisement (woman can do anything) seems if anything to be jeopardized by the chosen activities. Shaking things up a bit and lunch with hubby seem opposed to the feminist slanted message of woman can do anything.

You may be thinking that I've spent way too much time analyzing a commerical that you've probably never paid any attention to. You would be right. Whenever this advertisement airs, Bubba and I are launched into a long discussion about how absurd the whole thing is. Even when this commerical isn't on, we somehow find ourselves laughing about it. And for that, at least, I am grateful, that this seemingly benign ad has provided unending entertainment for us.


Stacy & Mike said...

I haven't seen the commercial but I'm glad you analyze things specifically the meaning of things like I do, even if it's probably not meant to give someone a second thought. Perhaps that is why we get along so great? I'm also glad to hear that Bubba participates in conversations about a womans undergarments. . . I knew he had an opinion about almost everything. . . It's good to see how well rounded he actually is.

Cheryl and William said...

HAHAHA! Kim, you seriously are SO HILARIOUS! I love this post! I'm one of those who definitely isn't in need of an 18 hour bra- although going to Milan on a lunch break would be nice, but do I really need a BRA to help me do that? I thought that some money might be of more use

Marci said...

I prefer to spend 18 hours of the day bra-less, thank you very much. I am sure this is either to peoples delight or fear! Thanks for visiting my blog, it makes me happy to know that I am not just sending my thoughts into the world wide web! I love reading your blog as well, you should post everyday! I do, that is why my house falls apart, and my kids spend the day playing the wii, and fighting! Maybe that isn't such a good idea... (i suppose I should take my own advice here...)