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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Enjoli: A 30-Second Capsule of Sexist Advertising

Okay, so where am I?

I'm still hunkered down, North Korean-style*, working with the team to produce our Clio submission. We want to make the April 21st deadline and save the $25 late fee. We shall see.

I can tell you that I was inspired by this article about North Korea's Loyalty campaign where, "North Koreans are being mobilized en masse to boost production and demonstrate their loyalty to leader Kim Jong Un in a 70-day campaign aimed at wiping out 'indolence and slackness.'"

Talk about innovation!

*- Note to Kim Jong Un: This is a quasi-compliment; please do not hack me!

Anyway...while looking for commercial inspiration, I ran across the perfect late seventies ad for my latest AD OF THE WEEK/MONTH/WHATEVER postings while simultaneously continuing my assault on sexist advertising throughout the decades. "Enjoy" the flashback.

Enjoli: The 8-Hour Perfume for the 24-Hour Woman
(Circa 1978-80)

Just like the exhausted woman in this classic perfume ad, Enjoli does it all, working overtime just to please her man perhaps. Or maybe it's telling men to buy it so he can be pleased at the bank and in the bedroom.

Seriously though...the ad was powerful and it stuck with you. I didn't have to hear the jingle on youtube to remember the words to this commercial. They have been embedded in my mind for three plus decades. Maybe I was addicted to television in 1980 (probably true.) Yet, I digress.

Listen to the jingle:

(Woman singing)
I can bring home the bacon
Fry it up in a pan
And never let you forget you're a man

(European guy V.O.)
Give her Enjoli
The 8-Hour Perfume for the 24-Hour Woman

(Woman singing)
I can work 'til five o'clock
Come home and read you tickety-tock

(offscreen, man) 
Tonight, I'm going to cook for the kids

(Woman singing)
And, if it's loving you want I can kiss you and give you the shiver in bed

(European guy V.O.)
Enjoli, the 8-Hour Perfume for your 24-Hour Woman

It's actually kind of remarkable the way Enjoli tries to "have it all," like the fantasy 70s feminist the ad is addressing. I mean, what does the liberated woman of the seventies get for trading in her Good Housekeeping-styled stay-at-home motherhood, smoking cigarettes, herding kids, cleaning the house, cooking seven days a week, and suppressing her dreams?

The answer is simple: More work!

In fact, the Enjoli liberated woman of the seventies is now a 24-hours-a-day working and pleasing machine, capable of doing nearly everything! In fact, if you offer to cook for the kids tonight, she make you shiver...

My takeaway? I'm beginning to think that advertising from 1950 to 1980 would have been non-existent without sexist ads.