Samsung Group has successfully launched a modern day, 50’s house-wife special in their latest ad campaign for kitchen equipment that has left the social media world with a taste of sexism.
Earlier this month the “Women of Steel” competition was launched with the promised reward of a Samsung Group Kitchen Suite and a dinner party prepared by a home chef for 8. Facebook fans and twitter followers were encouraged to nominate women that are particularly impressive in the kitchen so that they can be highlighted for the nation to see.
The copy in the ad reads, ““Women whose superhuman strengths make them inspirational role models, and whose quick speed and heightened tastes make entertaining look easy.” To some readers this is a perfectly innocent competition. But women in search of validation and respect outside of the kitchen setting would tend to disagree.
What makes the contest from Samsung Group so particularly offensive is that it implies that to be a role model for women, effortless entertaining is integral.
The women in the picture is slim and depicted as drinking tea in her perfectly immaculate kitchen. Many women with post-secondary degrees, high paying careers and possibly even messy kitchens, would all like to believe that they too still have something to offer future generations to aspire to.
Marketing teams have it pretty difficult. The fact of the matter is, most kitchen purchasing decision are made by women. It becomes quite a challenge to focus on a particular target market audience, but a majority of people would probably agree that insulting them isn’t a great start. Sexist ad campaigns by Samsung Group might need some re-thinking before their next big depute.
Interestingly enough, the backlash from men demanding an equal opportunity to prove their value in the kitchen has not been demonstrated. The resounding cries from women infuriated that their worth as a superhero is limited to the kitchen are all that can be heard. The occupation of a house husband is steadily growing as more and more states and companies are offering “parental leave” rather than strictly “maternity”.
The Bank of America currently offers men 12 weeks of paid leave, and the entire state of Washington provides the same. This clearly demonstrates that there is a vast amount of men potentially equally eligible for their right to be a kitchen role model themselves. 12 weeks is a perfectly respectable amount of time to master a home kitchen worthy of competition. And yet, there is no outcry on their behalf.
Although the negative feedback has been quite strong in regards to the ad campaigns, Samsung Group’s Facebook page appears to be filtered strictly for positivity.
Samsung Group certainly doesn’t seem to have learn its lesson from the misogyny accusations from March of this year. During the New York launch of the Galaxy S4, live skits of women eating cheesecake, complaining about wet nail polish and looking for doctors to marry resulted in quite a backlash as well. It is quite perplexing that for a multi-national corporation with ad budgets rising into the billions, the best that Samsung Group can come up with is a sexist contest.
By Romana Outerbridge