No Comment: Summer’s Eve Gives Your Vagina A New Monologue

Summer’s Eve has launched its “Hail to the V” campaign, a new series of print, online and television ads telling women to spend more time taking care of their “wunder down under.” According to Summer’s Eve marketing director Angela Bryant, the campaign is “all about empowerment.” You be the judge:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RosLrkIwZA

Let me admit that I’m predisposed to dislike any ad campaign by Summer’s Eve. Their products, and the entire douching industry, are based on shaming women into purchasing something that might actually be detrimental to our health. They could launch a “Summer’s Eve loves Planned Parenthood” campaign, and I’d probably still be pissed off by the subtext p.s. Your vagina is dirty.

But as far as I can tell, this commercial from the Summer’s Eve campaign suggests women’s empowerment really springs from our vaginas. I suppose I could find it refreshing (as refreshing as Summer’s Eve cleansing cloths!) to be objectified for a new body part, rather than the same old chest-and-ass routine. But I’m sick of the faux-feminist idea that the only source of women’s power is our sexuality and the sway it holds over men.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKvLd_XxFuw&feature=relmfu

Another trio of commercials in the same campaign is not so much faux-empowering as just plain condescending. Narrated by a sideways talking hand-turned-vagina (ladies’ “vertical smile”), they ask women to “show a little love” by soaping up with Summer’s Eve wash in the shower. The series aims for a “between us girls” vibe, like you and your vagina were just catching up over a morning latte.

That’s not to mention the outrageous racial stereotypes the ads use, in a woefully misguided attempt at being inclusive of women of color. As Jessica Valenti put it,

White vaginas hit the gym, vagazzle and say BFF a lot. Black vaginas care about their hair, hitting the club and do neck rolls. Latina vaginas say “aye aye aye,” “boo,” and are concerned about tacky leopard thongs. Did I miss anything?

As if racist talking vaginas weren’t enough, the campaign also has spawned a series of print ads. In the running for weirdest posthumous celeb endorsement, the ads feature historical figures such as Cleopatra and Helen of Troy. Summer’s Eve informs us that when these women weren’t ruling civilizations or making history, they were likely taking care of their “most precious resource.” That being their vaginas, of course.

This isn’t the first time the company has pulled the “strong women douche” card. Last year, the masterminds at Summer’s Eve launched a now-infamous ad suggesting a woman douche before asking for a raise. “Hail to the V” is just another feeble attempt to brand as feminist a company that tells you your body is shameful. Luckily it seems that, just like Summer’s Eve products, this campaign isn’t doing much for women.

Comments

  1. Sheryl Coleman says:

    I cannot fathom what possesses some people (or ad agencies) to think for one second that women are so stupid and so insecure that they would actually think along the lines of that kind of absolute idiocy.

  2. Chip Bell says:

    A plumbing company in Vegas is worse and refuses to remove insulting adds with the theme “if you hubby can’t, the yes man can” from Yes Plumbing and AC this garbage is all over the radio.http://www.facebook.com/joseywalesful#!/yesmancan

  3. Angela Davis? Are you sure you didn’t mean Angela Bryant?! Pretty Ms Davis wouldn’t be into this .

  4. Kama Hamilton Morton says:

    I saw the ad last weekend at the movie theater prior to Harry Potter … got a lot of male laughter, I was so disappointed – what a message to send our young men and women, let alone those of us over 30!

  5. Thanks for the link! We thought it couldn’t possibly get worse than the print ads…until we saw those talking hands. The sad part is that Summer’s Eve supposedly did a “listening tour” to get feedback from women after their offensive ad campaign from last summer, and what they’ve come up with after all of that listening is actually even more offensive.

  6. When will the world spend as much time and energy on testicle odor?

  7. Summer’s Eve is all about mining that “wunder down under” for tons of cash.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Thank you. I couldn’t put my finger on what bothered me, possibly because I don’t have enough fingers. The invention of a douche is sexist. Period. Any spin, complete with ethnic stereotypes or not, is not going to make me want to scrub clean what isn’t dirty. If they want to take healthy bodies and convince consumers that we need to flush out our internal orifices with poison, perhaps Summer’s Eve should increase their target market and rebrand themselves as ass-wash. At least that way it would be *sexist* racist advertising advocating physically harm.

  9. I definitively think that feminine cleansing gels are better and safer than douching. Although I can’t find a good one in canada.

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