In the comments to another post, OTM brought my attention to this segment from Target Women, by the wonderful Sarah Haskins (go here if the video doesn’t show up):
The sexualization of the cleaning products reminds me a lot of the way food is sexualized (search under the Food tag for lots of examples).
I suggest going to the Current TV website and just browsing through every segment of Target Women they have up. They’re all fantastic.
UPDATE: In another example of cleaning products being portrayed as “special friends,” Swiffer created a YouTube “break-up” channel where people were encouraged to “Show us how you ‘broke up’ with your mop and bucket, broom or feather duster and ‘traded up’ to Swiffer…” by creating videos of themselves singing break-up songs to their old cleaning products. The winner got $15,000.
Swiffer also has a series of ads where women “break up” with their old cleaning products:
NEW! (Nov. ’09) This Lysol commercial (found at BrandFreak) plays on the same theme: