Ad critique: Woman, the Holiday Swiss Army Knife

As we begin the official holiday shopping season, retailers are inundating the American public with advertisements online, in print, and in mailings with the hopes of luring in shoppers and their wallets.  Bed, Bath & Beyond, well-versed in all the above advertising approaches (I can wallpaper my bedroom with the amount of $5 coupons they’ve sent me), posted this image as part of their online holiday catalog.  The 8-limbed woman in the image perfectly illustrates the domestic expectations placed upon women year-round, especially during the holiday season.  At the holidays, women are expected to cook, clean and entertain at a higher level than the rest of the year, and BB&B is here to make that happen!


Don’t bother enlisting the help of spouses, children, family, or friends–instead pick up 5 or 6 kitchen gadgets (starting at the low price of $9.99!) and get to work slicing, dicing, carving, mixing, sous-vide-ing, mashing, stuffing, peeling, sauteing, warming, brining, frying, baking, and pouring.  When everyone has fallen into a food coma, you can get to work clearing, scrubbing, soaking, soaping, rinsing, spraying, wiping, washing, drying, polishing, and packing away all your fine china til next year.  Make sure to quip about how sinful the pumpkin pie is, and thank God you’re doing all this manual labor to burn off the calories–you put so much butter in the mashed potatoes, after all!


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