On Clorox and Not-so Subliminal Advertising
There I was, minding my own business, doing Pilates while watching All My Children (several friends have been on AMC through the years, so I’ve always tuned in to support and laugh at them. And I used to live near Susan Lucci and see her often and may I just say she makes me look fat.). And the following commercial comes on:
Two children are whispering. We hear one say: "I eat food off the floor."
Two other children whisper and we hear: "I play with my poops in the toilet." (Do they really do that, by the way? I was a nanny for years and I never saw anything like that. And mom, if I did that, now’s your chance for payback.)
Cut to two children on a hill playing with a baby pig.
Another two children: "I don’t wash my hands."
The announcer then says: "Kids pass around more than germs . . . When their world is cleaner, their lives are healthier."
Let me get this straight: Playing with a piglet is on par with playing with poop? And pigs equal filth and germs (and more than germs, apparently). It’s gross to touch live ones, yet it’s fine to eat dead ones? Pigs are the personification of "dirty?"
Why weren’t the kids playing with a puppy or a kitten? Why a pig? To add to the list of things they do that are yucky and unhealthy. Advertising companies do nothing accidentally. That pig was there in lieu of dialogue, to send the message: filth.
Thank heavens we have those Clorox disinfecting wipes.
When are we going to stop vilifying pigs?
Sure, some ad agency was responsible for this commercial, but we can let Clorox know that perpetuating stereotypes of nonhuman animals, and conditioning children and their parents to associate pigs with germs, doesn’t help sell wipes (although I’m sure it helps with developing speciesism).
I know this isn’t global warming I’m talking about. But I think part of our activism should be to stop people in their tracks (and register our malcontent with corporations) every time something is said or alluded to that perpetuates negative stereotypes or is otherwise misleading or downright incorrect.
But that’s me.