A question about Asda's Christmas advert

(124 Posts)

When I first saw it (and every time since tbh) my gut reaction was that it is sexist. The woman does all the work while the man does nothing. It's insulting to both genders.

But I have seen numerous posts on here, and been told by several friends, that this is a fairly good representation of Christmas for them and their friends. So my question is this:

Is the advert still sexist if it is actually representative? I think it is but I'm struggling to articulate why.

PeazlyPops Sat 10-Nov-12 18:56:42

I'd say so, because it reinforces the unfair stereotype, and says its ok?

But is it still an unfair stereotype if it's truly representative? If, for example, 70% of women say that that is how their Christmas is - is it still a stereotype? Or just a reflection of the majority experience?

I think I'm going round in circles. confused

kickassangel Sat 10-Nov-12 19:54:31

Just because it is, doesn't mean it should be.

Haven't seen the ad. But, basically, something that highlights a sexist element of
Our society and exploits it for
Their own profit is sexist. If they used the same stereotype but used it to challenge and undermine that stereotype it would be different.

Either way, using sexual stereotypes is lazy, but then adverts are hardly where we're going to see high falluting morals portrayed through visual art.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 10-Nov-12 22:27:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cortana Sat 10-Nov-12 22:39:51

I think it's still sexist.

Women were (and still are in some cases) paid less than men for doing the same job. Even if 90% of women were paid less for the same job it is still sexist. It being a situation in which the majority of women are in doesn't make it less so.

FWIW I think it showed neither gender in a good light.

Thank you, you've helped me get my head round it!

Darkesteyes Sun 11-Nov-12 02:05:26

Found this on the everydaysexism website.

Anonymous via email 2012-11-10 16:05
I saw the Asda Christmas advert for the first time this evening after it was mentioned on the everyday sexism twitter feed. I work for Asda and about a month ago had a briefing for the "Golden Quarter", basically the 3 months leading to Christmas. This briefing basically outlined the Asda's marketing strategy running up until Christmas and to summarise "it's all about Mum's" and apparently Mum's want low prices so they can feel the benefit in their purses. It appears that Asda seems to think that the only people that do any sort of supermarket shopping is Mother's. A lot of stereotyping of gendered roles going on. It frustrated me because there was nothing I could do, I'm starting to notice a lot of sexism within Asda. Asda also has a strict social media agreement we have to sign which makes sharing such stories online a bit risky if I want to remain in a job.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 11-Nov-12 02:12:06

I think it's sexist and reinforces that women have to do all the work. My dm doesn't agree with me and says Christmas wouldn't happen without mums blabla and they do do most of the work. I then say of that's the case then it's not fair and you don't, which she says well she's lucky to have a man and us to do the dishes ect ect and not leave it all up to her. My mum is quite happy to let my step dad be king of the castle though.

nobutts Sun 11-Nov-12 10:23:52

According to Aibu anyone who complained about it doesn't have a life. So that's solved that issue!

LadyMargolotta Sun 11-Nov-12 13:02:31

Obviously us women can't get a life because we are all too busy running around like headless chickens getting everything perfect for everyone else at Christmas.

InSPsFanjoNoOneHearsYouScream Sun 11-Nov-12 13:08:50

I honestly can't be offended by an advert for a supermarket.

It happens at Christmas where the mum does do it all. It happened in my family anyway.

I don't see the issue with an advert.

TheFoosa Sun 11-Nov-12 13:13:15

I agree with Fanjo

I think more women will find it amusing than offensive, merely because it is an accurate reflection of their lives

at least in my family

and they will like Asda more because Asda 'understands' them

44SoStartingOver Sun 11-Nov-12 13:13:25

If I were in control of ASDA's strategic marketing, I would be planning a campaign which included the January new Year start.

I believe that most applications for divorce peak in January (who could be surprised if every household is like the ASDA one) so I would feature

January -
setting up a separate household on a budget. Possibly including pink household items which newly separated women MUST want. Nowt so empowering as a new pink kettle ladies!

New bedding so the dc can stay overnight at dad's new house

Mum packing backpacks with snacks and treats to take to dad's house

Perhaps the early morning dash by Dad to 24 hour ASDA to buy extra school uniform (oops!)

February -
Mum buying a lovely new George Outfit after planning a first date with some idiot she has found on an online dating website

Dad buying a bottle of discount scotch to cheer himself up on his first single valentines day

The DC buying a 49p card and polyester rose to send to mum - (work that guilt button ASDA)

Mum and Dad buying competitively large easter eggs to ensure the children love them best

mum starting her bikini body diet - so she can 'feel good about' herself

Mum and dad battling over holiday childcare and buying loads of garden toys and ice creams to try to settle the children

Back to school - mum and dad buying separate uniforms makign sure they dont get left at the other parents house

Mum buys a lovely new polyester suit for £25 for the divorce hearing - yay for ASDA

oops time for crimbo ads


InSPsFanjoNoOneHearsYouScream Sun 11-Nov-12 13:14:54

What about the adverts that make out like men are useless like Very?

Nothing gets said about them.

AbigailAdams Sun 11-Nov-12 13:18:26

Of course things get said about those adverts. All the bloody time.

InSPsFanjoNoOneHearsYouScream Sun 11-Nov-12 13:20:34

I haven't seen anything said about them just this ASDA one.

If you look hard enough people will find sexism in anything.

I agree with Fanjo too.

From a marketing perspective, if they did an advert that painted the picture feminists wanted to see, I don't think it would be relevant to the majority of families where the mum does do most of that stuff. I do, my mum does, all my friends do. My DH wouldn't bother sending cards to anyone, wouldn't put decorations up, would forget to buy most of the presents - let alone wrap them - and so on... And no, I'm not going to leave the bastard.

AbigailAdams Sun 11-Nov-12 13:27:57

Everytime someone mentions sexism in adverts someone comes on "but what about those cleaning ads that make men look incompetent". Without. Fail. It has happened here. Only not about a cleaning ad. Some other ad I haven't seen so can't comment on.

Invariably the ad mentioned shows a man being incompetent at some traditionally female role which just perpetuates gender stereotypes and the drudge of cleaning, organising Christmas, shopping or whatever is seen to be done sooo much better than women so let's leave them to it, hey.

It is sexist. We don't have to look for it. It is how society is constructed.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 11-Nov-12 13:28:23

It's quite representative of my Christmas, but I am a bit controlling about it all. And I wouldn't be sitting on the pouffee. I'd have booted a man or child to squat on that. After all that cooking, I'd want a proper seat.

I don't know that I thought it was sexist first time I saw it - just a ridiculously silly and un-true to life advert. My first thought was that it was quite insulting to men. Perhaps those mean that I do think it was sexist?

My Dad was always the one that cooked christmas dinner (and every sunday roast) in my house when I grew up. We went as a family to the supermarket with two trollies to stock up for Christmas altogether - it was a big thing for us as children, and even as teenages! In my house now DH and I share the cooking, although probably on the whole DH does more of it and he certainly does the big shop nearly every weekend with DD (not yet 3) whilst I have a cup of tea or do something else.

Actually reading back my post now, I think I probably do think it is a bit sexist! I would be interested to see any actual reserach on who does the shopping and cooking at Christmas, as the majority of my friends and their families are not represented by this at all.

kickassangel Sun 11-Nov-12 14:12:19

The issue with an advert is that it perpetuates an imbalance that exploits women. Just by seeing it you receive the message that it is normal and therefore OK for life to be like this.

Adds could just as easily show mum getting together her list for food, presents etc, then sending the H out to get them and she puts up decorations to surprise him on his return. They hug = happy Christmas. That would be an appealing image.

Or BOTH parents referring to Saturday being a special day, the kids are going to the grandparents, mum and dad will have some special alone time. Lots of coy looks and sly winks about it. Show the kids rushing off gleefully to the grandparents and mum and dad scamper to the car for their special treat... Shopping in Asda for the presents and food! That would appeal to just about every family member, focuses on the fun side without showing the hard work, makes Asda seem like a treat fun day out, as well as having everything you need for the whole of Christmas etc etc.

Tbh honest, any advert that reminded me what a pita Christmas is would not make me rush off to their store.

SamSmalaidh Sun 11-Nov-12 14:20:34

Of course it is sexist!

Just because it reflects and reinforces a sexist society, and many women unfortunately are still in sexist relationships with sexist men, doesn't make it less sexist.

CarpeThingy Sun 11-Nov-12 14:32:14

Did anyone see the episode of "The Thick Of It" where two carers had been invited in for some type of "recognition" event? All hell breaks loose, carers left forgotten on the sidelines. Every so often the Prime Minister charges past, spots the carers and goes "Wbnderful to meet you. Wonderful. Such vital work you do."

If the ad really does reflect reality for most ASDA shoppers, then it's sexist for the same reason that was being brought out there. A patronising sop to the exploited, making a virtue out of the exploitation. "We really couldn't do without you, you know." The idea - ridiculous, of course - is that the target audience will get a nice warm feeling appreciated and keep right on - oh, hang on. sad

SP I was on two threads yesterday where sexist adverts were discussed and the sexism against men was discussed. I can find links if you want them.

It constantly amazes me that the portrayal in the Asda advertise claimed to be the reality for so many women. It certainly isn't in my house, and I don't know many couples where the woman tolerates being treated like a drudge.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Nov-12 15:13:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kickassangel Sun 11-Nov-12 15:53:39

With anyone/thing that sends a message, you need to ask 'who gains from this'?
Well: the store - if you go there to buy their goods. Men - cos they get to do f-all and still have all the pleasure of Christmas. The kids - same reason. Women - not so much.

Seriously. Being reminded of the sheer volume of work required to produce the 'magic' is meant to encourage you to spend money? How? I would look at the ad, think 'sod that' and book a table at a restaurant instead.

I've only seen the ad a couple of times but I can't recall the mum being treated in any particular way - she was just in charge of things iirc. I also don't remember the dad looking stupid, he was just overruled on the size of the Christmas tree. I do all the things the mum does in the ad and its not because I'm being forced to by DH, my child or society, I just like things to be nice at Christmas and I like to do it myself.

Maybe I need to watch it again...

Stewie it serves some men but IME it does most of them a grave disservice. Or are the men I know so unrepresentative of their gender? confused

SomersetONeil Sun 11-Nov-12 17:58:39

I don't know a single family - not my generation nor my parents' - where the Mum does every single bloody thing, including the washing up and being relegated to the pouffe. Does anyone? Really? hmm

If this is you, and if you're not entirely happy about it, then maybe it's time to start thinking about that.

minibreaks - no, nobody is forcing you: 'society' isn't frog-marching you into the kitchen and standing over you while you do everything. It's not that literal. There is a huge expectation on women, historically at least, to do the lion's share in the house and this takes generations to eradicate. Ads like this only serve to remind the more enlightened out there that there's a load of people who haven't moved on.

My children wouldn't recognise this set up in the slightest. Their Dad isn't a useless buffoon, for a starter. And I'm not a taken-for-granted martyr. But this is certainly a great way to start drip-dripping the idea that a woman's place is hearth and home, and a man's place is to be entitled. sad

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Nov-12 18:13:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ConsiderCasey Sun 11-Nov-12 18:16:10

I think the really insidious bit is how in practical terms this ad is bad for women and good for men, yet it is presented as a compliment to women.

It's really clever in a devious way because it convinces women that the unfairness they are subjected to should be worn like a badge of honour.

ConsiderCasey Sun 11-Nov-12 18:18:54

To be fair SGM, our frenemies F4J are up in arms about it but that is because they have bought into the lie, that this ad idealises mothers and belittles fathers. .

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Nov-12 18:20:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

How do you know they haven't? DH is practically frothing every time the bloody advert comes on. The point I was trying to make (poorly, obviously! grin) was that yes, the advert serves some men, societal norms, the patriarchy or however you want to phrase it. But making a generalisation that it serves all men is surely as misguided as the people who made the advert?

Sorry if I've misunderstood what you meant.

Casey it does belittle fathers. As I said in my OP, this advert is insulting to both genders.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Nov-12 18:38:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ConsiderCasey Sun 11-Nov-12 18:48:50

Sorry OP I do actually agree that it insults both genders and its great yhat your DH is hands on and quite rightfully insulted. But I do believe the overall effect is worse for women. It tells one gender they are lazy but that they don't have to do anything and tells the other that they are controlling martyrs and DO have to do everything.

Besides F4J are not complaining about how it insults women, because they do not think it does. They see it as an idealisation of motherhood without seeing how damaging that is.

But yes, if I were a man who shared the housework I would feel sidelined.

SomersetONeil Sun 11-Nov-12 18:48:54

Do the women who think this ad is OK; that it reflects reality and is what it's like at their house like it just because it's about Christmas? As if the inherent sexism starts and ends with Christmas Day, but the rest of the year the husbands are pulling their weight equally?

Are people getting the warm, fuzzy Christmas glow, but missing the bigger picture?

This place is littered with threads from women who are at the end of their tether from doing everything and carrying men who do not pull their weight. who are completely exasperated with the status quo and don't know how to change things.

All this ad does is show them that they're wrong to feel like that, that they should be happy and satisfied from doing it all.

And worse, it shows their husbands that they're being completely unreasonable in wanting more. It's really, really horrible. Anyone defending it - defending the actual depiction of the woman doing EVERYTHING WITH NO THANKS needs to take a long, hard look at themselves.

ConsiderCasey Sun 11-Nov-12 18:57:03

To give an example, when I'm at my mum's house I don't put stuff in the dishwasher after dinner. I make a joke of how if I did do it she would just rearrange them anyway.

What I should actually do is stop being such a lazy cow and learn how she likes to load it and do it that way blush.

Ah, thank you Casey, I see what you meant. smile

Stewie can you explain what you mean by structural benefits please? I'm fairly new to this topic and I'm not sure I understand what they are.

scottishmummy Sun 11-Nov-12 18:58:24

it may be representative for some,doesn't make it any less sexist
if this mirrors someone gender roles and martyred mummy status,that's a shame

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 11-Nov-12 19:01:15

God casey I do things like that at my mums and nans blush

Yama Sun 11-Nov-12 19:08:11

I saw the advert on Youtube after a couple of threads on here.

Yes, very sexist.

I showed it to dh and he said "but surely nobody actually lives like that any more?" I had to explain to him that (according to MN anyway) life really is like that for a lot of people.

Mumsnet really has opened my/our eyes in terms of just how widespread sexism is in our society. It gives an insight into other peoples houses and lives.

Anyway, Asda has now been added to my list of shops I will not darken the doorstep of again.

scottishmummy Sun 11-Nov-12 19:09:18

I disliked it,doesn't warrant a complaint didn't rile me that much

ConsiderCasey Sun 11-Nov-12 19:11:34

Somerset, I totally agree. We can argue over who it insults more but at the end of the day it shows women doing far more and expecting no credit. And presenting it as something that is normal and good.

The reality may be like this for many women but it ruins relationships, and breeds resentment and unhappiness (it certainly went a good way to ruining mine because I refused to take that role and was made to feel guilty for it) . Such drudgery is NOT a good thing that should be presented as something to aspire to. It should be presented as the marriage killer that it is.

maybenow Sun 11-Nov-12 19:12:41

It can be both sexist and representative of the majority situation (if it is, i don't believe that, but it might be in some circles).
The problem is that it glorifies a sexist distribution of christmas chores.

Casual racism and thuggishness is representative of the majority situation in some communities but an advert would not be allowed to glorify that - e.g. watch the local derby in the pub, get blasted on our brand of beer, drink 12 pints of it, start a fight with a group of men of another race, get picked up by the police. ergo.. buy our brand of beer!!

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 11-Nov-12 19:15:46

I don't get why there is so much fuss about this. I am cooking for my dad and DD this year. I cooked for us three and EXP the two years before that. I do all decorating and shopping for presents and food. I need help getting the tree so dad does that with me, but the advert is a fair reflection of my Christmas.

I don't think it is trying to tell people this is how it should be, they are playing on the 'behind every great man is a great woman' line at the end. They are thanking the woman for all of her hard work and planning, not saying she HAS to do it.

If anything it highlights to men all of the things done without them, which perhaps they can now help with as, if anything, it should be shaming men that DON'T help. Those who DO help can feel smug that they are 'better' than the man in the advert.

Yama Sun 11-Nov-12 19:18:23

I'm so glad that my Mum really hated housework and cooking because I've never aspired to be good at it or to martyr myself. I couldn't fancy a man that thought of me as his Mum.

ConsiderCasey Sun 11-Nov-12 19:21:25

Brandy, ok I'm gonna be super helpful to my mum this Xmas in the interests of not being a hypocrite. But the shock could finish her off grin

Yama Sun 11-Nov-12 19:37:46

Actually ConsiderCasey, dh and I have a deal - he helps at his relatives' houses, I help at mine. I would hate there to be an expectation that I help as I'm female.

ConsiderCasey Sun 11-Nov-12 19:54:36

Yama, that sounds very fair. I do notice that when SIL comes over she helps way more than my bro. It's a toughie cos on the one hand you want to help the woman who is doing the work but then you are reinforcing stereotypes.

Yama Sun 11-Nov-12 19:59:20

Yes, a toughie alright. Trying to bring dd up to be helpful and kind but not to accept being treated differently or allowing people to have differing expectations of her because she is female is tricky.

What atourch said.

I imagine there are some women out there who do these things because their lazy-arsed husbands expect it of them, but I think there are many more households where the woman might happen to be a better cook, a more imaginative and organised present buyer and prefer to organise Christmas for the house - and their DH is grateful for what they do as well as pulling his weight in other areas.

Mine always gets the drinks for guests, loads and unloads the dishwasher, does his fair share of tidying and occupying DS while I swear at the oven because I can't fit everything in prepare the meal.

He also pays for it but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention that on this board.

scottishmummy Sun 11-Nov-12 20:33:13

imo for so long as women are housewives who make home their domain,this will be representation will perpetrated.
as it will be a representation of housewife at home,man work
woman do all domestic duties,male do external work

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Nov-12 20:49:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beamae Sun 11-Nov-12 20:53:48

I think where this ad really went wrong was the lack of appreciation she seems to get. Obviously it is the experience of some people that the mother does all the work to make Christmas special, but I'm pretty sure they get feet up and a Baileys while someone else does the dishes. They really should have had the kids helping with the wrapping, the father helping with the peeling and the inlaws doing the washing up. The mother can still be the hero of Christmas by being the driving force, planner and organiser. She doesn't have to be a slave. If I had just cooked the whole meal on my tod, I'd expect someone to offer me a chair to eat at the table and a big fat glass of wine in front of the fire while they tidied away. The ridiculous grin on her face when she sees them all parking off in the lounge is the problem in a nutshell. It implies that women should be happy with their sorry lot and find their own reward in selflessness.

purrpurr Sun 11-Nov-12 21:01:39

Morrisons have released a carbon copy of Asda's Christmas advert, btw. Which paves the way for Tesco to release an ad featuring a harried man organising everything whilst his wife drinks tea. Are you listening, Tesco?

kim147 Sun 11-Nov-12 21:04:29

Boots have lost the girls. I think this advert is trying to appeal to a wider audience.


This is what I wrote on the other thread:

The fact that it represents reality for a lot of women isn't really the point. The problem is that it presents that as normal, inevitable, even desirable. I do not want my son and daughter to grow up thinking that those are the roles they have to grow up and slot into. They aren't.

Personally, I do most of Christmas. It's because I really enjoy it. I've still complained to the ASA about this ad, because I totally resent anybody telling me that I do it because that's just what mums do. They can bugger off with that.

Thanks Stewie I think I understand better now. So it's more about the inbuilt sexism within society and its functions than it is about individuals? So when feminists talk about 'men' oppressing women it's at a population level rather than an accusation against individuals or groups of individuals?

(Sorry if these are silly questions and I'm making myself sound stupid! blush).

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 11-Nov-12 21:22:59

So women getting hairdryers, little girls playing with nail varnish, women being given perfume that the man approves of and men getting shaving gear because they are men isn't sexist?

kim147 Sun 11-Nov-12 21:27:38

Didn't say it wasn't sexist. Just said it's trying to show more people in it.

kim147 Sun 11-Nov-12 21:28:57

And at least she didn't get something practical for the kitchen smile

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Nov-12 21:58:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

avenueone Sun 11-Nov-12 22:04:15

My DS (when he was 4) used to get soo angry when `here come the girls' came on and used to run round shouting `here come the boys'...
Stunned by the Asda ad - as ok, foolishly some women still do all that crap and then smile sweetly at everyone else having fun and be ignored... but not this one.

Hurray, I got it! grin

Fetishing eating disorders? confused

avenue your DS sounds fab.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Nov-12 22:16:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yama Sun 11-Nov-12 22:35:05

SGM - when dd was quite young I made a decision to mute all adverts. They are so pervasive. It was toy advertising which first angered me. Girls were all about the nurturing, boys about doing and mastering.

I have been a bit lax with the rule of late. I must task dd with muting when I am not in the room. I'll tell her it's to protect her younger brother from the harmful messages.

Actually, I'd love to ban tv full stop but I know I won't to damage limitation it is.

Yama Sun 11-Nov-12 22:35:51

so not to

avenueone Mon 12-Nov-12 00:06:49

I keeps the ads on as my DS will be exposed to so much mass media when he gets a bit older - at least at home I can `talk him through it' he already says `those adverts are such liers they should be in jail' (I think he means the voice over person rather than him understanding the corporate structure of Hasbro).

kickassangel Mon 12-Nov-12 00:53:24

SGM I shall cat you re blogging next time I'm on the laptop. I used to teach media and so love this subject

blonderthanred Mon 12-Nov-12 10:26:52

It's been interesting to read the responses to this ad. I agree that the idea of the woman doing all the work is sexist, however what struck me was this:

Most ads now seem to trade on the idea that women/Mums run everything perfectly and men/Dads are hapless fools who cannot be trusted to cook dinner/clean the bath/look after the children. Which is just as sexist as it reinforces the notion that women should be doing everything domestic and it comes naturally, whereas men are out of their depth, slightly Neanderthal and better off left to their cars, computers or football.

In this ad the woman actually makes mistakes - chooses a tree that's too big, wrapping paper that's too small, has to sit on the pouffe at the table, in short, is slightly ridiculous but gets there in the end.

Am I mad to be thinking that ASDA were actually trying to be slightly subversive and offer a more rounded view?

ATourchOfInsanity Mon 12-Nov-12 11:16:20

That is the way I see it Blonde, but apparently women shouldn't be portrayed in ads unless they are doing something manly or nothing at all...

ATourchOfInsanity Mon 12-Nov-12 11:19:05

I think it is far less sexist than Boots as only one family is shown. In the Boots ad there are many different couples, all of which are hammering home different sexist points - that really IS normalizing it!

slug Mon 12-Nov-12 12:01:17

It should be noted that Asda are owned by Walmart who have a less than spotless record when it comes to the treatment of their female employees.

blonder I just saw the advert again and I can't see it the way you do. Yes, the woman makes mistakes but she is still the only one doing everything - shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, cleaning.

If it was the man choosing the wrong tree and decorating it, while the woman was ineptly wrapping presents, then both of them rushing around to cook the dinner it would be better (and closer to what my Christmases are like!).

AbigailAdams Mon 12-Nov-12 14:11:58

Walmart are dreadful.

Being portrayed as useless at domestic tasks benefits men because they get to play the incompetent card and get women to do the work for them. You only have to look at any of the numerous housework threads on MN to see this scenario played out in households throughout the country. These ads reinforce the sexist norm.

blonderthanred Tue 13-Nov-12 02:13:04

Joyful, I prefer your version.

samandi Wed 14-Nov-12 09:26:46

It isn't particularly representative of what happens in my home, nor at my parents. Both parents go shopping, wrap presents, put up decorations, cook and clean up afterwards, and it's the same at mine. I can imagine there are households where the women do do everything, perhaps they're the kind of women who shop at asda. I think I've only ever been there once.

oranges Wed 14-Nov-12 10:04:36

its the pouffe thing that gets me. It is so disrespectful that she just sits on that, and if we are saying men and women should have traditional roles. then surely her husband should be more chivalrous and get her a proper seat. I can't imagine any scenario at all where my dh would let me sit like that. The advert is depressing as it gives women old fashioned roles without giving them the respect and gentleness that is meant to come with that.

The kind of women who shop at Asda? hmm Did you mean to sound so snobbish samandi?

SamuraiCindy Wed 14-Nov-12 10:44:46

The pouffe bit is definitely the worst part. She sits down on that, looking up to her husband after she serves him, while he sits at the head of the table with a crown on looking down at her. So disrespectful and I am stunned that so many women don't seem to have a problem with this.

scottishmummy Wed 14-Nov-12 19:59:06

the ad replicates a role many housewife's enact
martyred mum does everything,oh it's ardest job in the world
it is advert reflecting how many people do live.as many mn threads attest

BertieBotts Wed 14-Nov-12 20:06:11

Didn't they interview a load of mums to get inspiration for the advert? I'd imagine that's why it is representative, especially if they (apologies to generalise) picked a site or other source of respondents which doesn't have as active a feminist presence/consciousness as mumsnet. Even on mumsnet itself, which is generally a more feminist space than most on the internet still has a vv high proportion of posters reporting that they do put the majority of effort into Christmas when compared to their male partners.

However SGM got it right about three posts into the thread. It's still sexist - if anything it highlights the fact that society is still very sexist by the pure fact that so many people do identify with it.

SomersetONeil Wed 14-Nov-12 20:36:39

On the one hand, ASDA has managed to very cleverly tap into its own market share. The fact that there are women rushing to defend this set-up sad even on an enlightened forum such as Mumsnet attests to that.

And on top of that, they've garnered more free advertising off the back of the ad via all the debate its generated, than I'm sure they could ever have hoped for.

On the other hand, their market research must surely have only been with existing customers; i.e. not with either potential customers, nor Asda-rejecters.

I can well believe that this is exactly how Christmas - and by extension, life - is for their existing customers. But we know it's not like that for everyone. So many people/non-Asda customers do not (thankfully) view this as their reality.

Why aren't Asda keen to see what people who don't shop there think? Why don't they want to extend their market share? Their slice of supermarket shoppers is a drop in the ocean compared with Tescos'. It seems odd that they're not even trying to tap into this humoungous market share.

At the moment they're preaching to the converted, and that's it. I find it hard to believe that any organisation could be so unsavvy. So much so, that I am certain I must be missing something. Maybe all the free advertising this campaign has generation has been worth it... hmm

kim147 Wed 14-Nov-12 21:15:59

This is from Marketing Weekly

"The supermarket used insight from its rolling ‘Mumdex’ survey of 4,000 mums to produce the advert as part of a wider strategy to reshape its business around what it identifies its key customers, mums.

The company says the approach was taken to stand out from “the perfect, idealistic and unattainable Christmas” often portrayed over the festive season.

Stephen Smith, chief marketing officer at Asda, adds: “Nothing made it into the ad, unless it was real insight from real experiences. We have spoken to thousands of Asda mums about what Christmas means to them. They told us that Christmas doesn’t just happen by magic. A lot rests on their shoulders; with people to feed, gifts to buy, and families to keep happy, it can be a very busy time but the experiences they have along the way are priceless. Despite the pressure, their big reward is looking back at the end of Christmas day, at a happy and smiling family, and thinking “I did that .”"

SomersetONeil Wed 14-Nov-12 22:17:36

"We have spoken to thousands of Asda mums about what Christmas means to them"

So that pretty much confirms that their sample was drawn solely from Asda shoppers...

No wonder it didn't hit the mark for so many people, then...

And yes, being relegated to the pouffe and doing all the washing up certainly is 'priceless'... hmm

Darkesteyes Wed 14-Nov-12 22:36:29

ASda if you are reading this you are making me glad that i havent had children!

LittleTyga Wed 14-Nov-12 22:42:45

I think more women will find it amusing than offensive, merely because it is an accurate reflection of their lives

And therein lies the problem sad

LittleTyga Wed 14-Nov-12 22:43:23

I watched it after hearing about it on here and I find it fucking offensive!

LittleTyga Wed 14-Nov-12 22:43:58

Oh forgot to add my daughters were with me in the room angry

SomersetONeil Wed 14-Nov-12 22:46:48

"Asda if you are reading this you are making me glad that i havent had children!"

Too right - Asda would have you believe that you morph into a thankless slave, post-kids... sad

BertieBotts Wed 14-Nov-12 22:49:34

The thing is as well, that if you interview a group of people (in this instance mothers) you are going to get a skewed view, and that's not to mention how the question was worded. If you have a supportive husband but take that for granted you probably wouldn't think to mention that he sends all his own christmas cards, or whatever. If the question was asked specifically what do you do for Christmas, it's not asking about contributions of partners at all, and yet they've chosen to ignore the possibility that people might split responsibilities etc.

I think it's a shame - it could have been a great ad if it was 50/50 and focused on the hard work that parents put in, not just mums. (What's the betting the directors, writers etc were men whose wives do all of this for them and they sit back and "appreciate" it? angry)

samandi Thu 15-Nov-12 09:00:27

The kind of women who shop at Asda? Did you mean to sound so snobbish samandi?

Yes, I probably did mean to sound slightly snobbish. I don't have particularly high opinions of household gender inequality. Each to their own and all, but adverts like this do normalise it, which makes life harder for some women.

Friend posted on Facebook about this the other day. I was surprised at the responses:
man - there are worse ads than this.
man- but it's true, mums are great. 10 likes from women
Friend and i challenged it again.
man - oh it's all tongue in cheek anyway.
Man- its only an advert.
Man- yeah, why you bitching about an ad?
Friend was bit overwhelmed and pulled the thread. For me, it was like a text book example of what to expect when you challenge sexism.

I've just had a great long debate with two friends of a friend about this ad. They reckon it's fine because it reflects how things really are, at least in their families and they are happy with it so obviously everyone else should be... These were women, I'm half thinking about posting something about it on FB just to see who bites and needs deleting.

SamuraiCindy Thu 15-Nov-12 19:25:53

Haha that's a great idea!!! ^

All this rubbish about this terrible ad being some people's reality...why not have an ad showing alcoholics living and dying on the streets or thugs murdering old people - this is some people's reality too.

avenueone Thu 15-Nov-12 21:01:39

A male friend on FB put something on about women moaning about the ad - I responded and when I called him a misogynist it suddenly seemed to click...and he backed down.

avenueone Thu 15-Nov-12 21:05:53

the small positive in all this is that this feminist issue is being widely discussed and some women who have felt unable to express that actually they hate doing everything and don't want to this year are being given a platform to do so... well I hope...

SomersetONeil Thu 15-Nov-12 21:26:37

Again, I really think it's worth reiterating - this isn't just Christmas for some people. This is their every day reality.

It's all nice and warm and fuzzy and glowy on Christmas day, mabye (well, it's not, but you know what I mean), but living like that woman does, day in day out is NOT OK.

Check out the relationship board and AIBU and you will see women piling in to tell other women not to put up with this sort of crap. Yet, here are so many women trying to defend it. confused

It's really important to remember the bigger picture. It's one thing to look at this through rose-tinted glass when it's all about Christmas. But this kind of opting out of family life by the man and leaving it all to the woman breeds insidious resentment and breaks up families...

avenueone Thu 15-Nov-12 21:30:03

It's really important to remember the bigger picture. It's one thing to look at this through rose-tinted glass when it's all about Christmas. But this kind of opting out of family life by the man and leaving it all to the woman breeds insidious resentment and breaks up families... spot on. Government after government bang on about keeping families together yet they do very little to stop this blatant sexist, misogynist view of family life.

scottishmummy Mon 19-Nov-12 19:16:56

absolute hysterical reaction.the ad replicates a life some housewives enact
by being domestic slave and doggsbody this reinforces women's role/place at home.the ad isn't fantasy or hyped up representation,it's a reflection of how some people live.the ad isn't blatantly sexist or misogynist at all,I've read enough mn threads to know the muthas are goddesses and best and hardest so called job js being mum.this ad runs,get chse because it reflects some folk life and norms

save your ire this isn't about govt or deeply held misogyny. it's a reflection of how some folk live

ATourchOfInsanity Mon 19-Nov-12 19:30:40

Is it not better to have an ad thanking women who DO have this type of Christmas than none at all? Anything highlighting the inequalities in families like this needs to be seen. It will spark reactions and then something might change, if that is indeed what women who have this type of family want.

scottishmummy Mon 19-Nov-12 19:34:31

what if the housewife chose that domestic role
given all the literature,blogs,politics about female role don't ave masses rising up
I don't predict asda ad will have housewives querying their role,status and representation

tethersend Mon 19-Nov-12 19:39:28

I think it's sexist in that it accepts the status quo with a shrug of the shoulders and a merry little laugh, instead of challenging it.

It would have been very easy to make a similar advert acknowledging that most women do all the Xmas prep, but challenging it.

scottishmummy Mon 19-Nov-12 19:58:40

if its sexist to represent Xmas like this
is it sexist/stereotypical behaviour to enact these roles in real life,male and female?
is there comment on that kind of female role,that representation of asda xmas

tethersend Mon 19-Nov-12 20:19:41

I don't think it's sexist to represent Xmas like this- but adverts are not impartial, they make comment on the representation. It's the comment that this advert makes on the status quo which is sexist, IMO.

scottishmummy Mon 19-Nov-12 21:14:46

equally sexist is women and men enacting such stereotypical roles in rl
knackered martyr mummy, bit fick put the kettle on love,dad.chores=mum does
people live like this,asda represented this.this is the women know your place roles enacted by both genders

tethersend Mon 19-Nov-12 21:31:43

I agree, it is sexist that this happens so much IRL- however, imagine the Asda advert with a different ending where the mum doesn't smile to herself and sigh happily at being asked 'what's for tea?', but instead sits in the kitchen sobbing into the parsnips and drinking a can of Kestrel super while the camera fades to black.

Both adverts would be representing a RL truth, ie that most women do the vast majority of xmas tasks, but they would be saying very different things.

PearlyWhites Mon 19-Nov-12 22:16:08

Adverts are meant to appeal to the majority and It's a true representation for myself and many other mums.Ifthat's not how you do things that's fine but no need for cries of sexism.

scottishmummy Mon 19-Nov-12 22:20:44

that's my point for many this will be accurate representation
it will accurately reflect how tasks are divvied up,and woman does bulk domestic
asda too will contend is accurate,humorous ad which they reckon is accurate reflection

tethersend Mon 19-Nov-12 22:25:13

But is it accurate on its depiction of the woman just shrugging her shoulders and accepting that that's the way it is? Who's to say that 90% of the women who do most of the xmas tasks don't fucking hate it? I'm sure many do. Why can't the advert represent that?

scottishmummy Mon 19-Nov-12 22:34:18

the ad represents a supposed norm,the way it is for many the
face it,ad woman won't rise up to demand equality in undertaking tasks.shared division labour
what's the beef with this ad?that women live like this?or they dont hurl the parsnips at man and demand better treatment

scottishmummy are you really suggesting that if something is the norm it must also be fine and that everyone is equal? hmm

SomersetONeil Tue 20-Nov-12 06:44:23

"I've read enough mn threads to know..."

...that most women even going to the trouble of posting threads on MN about this (Asda) sort of set up do so because they're absolutely miserable and hate that their 'D'P doesn't lift a finger to help.

So sorry if it then bothers you that some people are picking up on that and using the Asda ad to highlight how shit it is for some people.

"If that's not how you do things that's fine but no need for cries of sexism."

Why not?

If it's how you do things and you're happy with it, what do you care if other people find it deeply sexist? I mean, it is, after all. Does people calling 'sexism' make you a bit uncomfortable? It must do, if you don't want people to use the word. Why does it make you feel uncomfortable?

ATourchOfInsanity Tue 20-Nov-12 21:45:41

I think a matrimonial law firm should take up tethersend's 'fade to grey' version to drum up business in January grin
Then we all win. Right? People happy with ad as is get it their way pre-Christmas and people who hate it and think it is sexist, get their bit of post-Christmas 'realism'.

scottishmummy Tue 20-Nov-12 23:15:01

erroneous paraphrasing no,i dont need an edict from you telling me life shit for the asda housewife so everyone else got to get bovvered on their behalf

if a woman is that martyred mum asda portrays.they need to reflect are they happy? or did this just get foisted upon them?

and like it or not some women do live like this. I suppose the rub is whether they feel put upon or not. certainly id never be the martyred asda mum,but id also never be financially dependent upon another adult

if one has a dp who doesnt lift a finger,then that woman needs to share some responsibility too for the dp inertia. this isnt just wholly imposed as male dominance,some women enact and profess to like traditional role set up such as housewife at home,man work. and indeed many on mn assert housewife is their choice

now to return to point,if one has a partner who does sweet fa,then that woman need to examine and reflect upon her role..does she enact these stereotypical roles...does she like these gender roles? or has this inequitable arrangement arose but never been resolved

is it the asda ad and its representation that is objected to
or is it the knowledge that for some people this is the life they lead and ts accurate representation

FunBagFreddie Mon 26-Nov-12 13:46:49

Considering the fact that companies like Asda are meticulous about marketing, the advert is clearly aimed at a certain demographic, so maybe there are a lot of people who relate to that advert? But yes, I think it's sexist.

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 26-Nov-12 13:53:13

it's an awful sexist advert. If I had done all that work and then be made to sit on the pouffe for my Christmas lunch, someone if not all of them would have been stabbed with the Turkey knife.

I know some families where this would be considered quite normal and I hate it. It's so devisive. Everyone should share the work as a matter or course.

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 26-Nov-12 13:59:29

I think that's where it gets it so wrong, the happy smile at the end of the ad. tethers Kestrel version is far more likely. However I am judging the ad by my own standards, maybe there are leigons of women out there who would smile lovingly at the suggestion of more work?

FunBagFreddie Mon 26-Nov-12 14:05:39

It wouldn't happen in our house Funnys, that's for sure. But maybe I just don't know my place!

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 26-Nov-12 14:41:36

I most certainly don't know my place FunBag grin I would be so miserable in a family like that

FunBagFreddie Tue 27-Nov-12 08:05:59

I'd be miserable too FunnysInLaJardin, but it's just never going to happen. grin

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