At Weird Universe.
A cynical attention-grabbing ploy?
An innocent mistake which slipped through the cracks of the three Martini lunch meeting?
Or a case of each person involved being to coy to point out the obvious?
I'm inclined to go with the former since the only other words in bold red script are the brand name. In fact, it's odd that the brand name at the top of the ad isn't written in bold red, whilst "husbands beat wives" is. Also, the wording of the phrase seems awkward to me, as if the sentence was very deliberately constructed in order to ensure the central placement of that easily misconstrued phrase.
It appears that the (mostly male, I'm assuming) ad execs viewed their target market of housewives with contempt.
Maybe it was an attempt to broaden their product's appeal to men by subconsciously associating it with machismo and competition (challenging men to show that they can perform "women's work" even better than the women themselves).
Wow, awesome! For bonus points, it also presumes that no man could possibly know how to bake a cake.
(I do kind of want a "partycake" now, though. I bet it's tastier and more special than a boring old everyday cake!)
I have to admit, I found this funny. :|
I have to agree that it is a cynical attention getting ploy. The type-designers knew exactly how to downplay the script-text and emphasize the bold red. The newspaper call-out also seems important in this regard. Trying not very hard to make the inattentive reader think (for just a nanosecond) it is a news article, perhaps? It would be very interesting to know what context the ad was meant to appear and who (specifically) the target audience was. Were there a lot of exploitative articles in magazines about spousal abuse during this period?
I also "like" how the ad is meant to raise women's (*"experienced homemakers") anxieties about being able to successfully bake by making them worry that their middle-class husbands, who were not supposed to be good cooks or regularly make family meals, might possibly make a better cake than them. Also, specifically telling women: "Don't fail!"
I don't really think that a majority of today's TV or magazine ads have dropped any of these kinds of crude gender stereotypes; they're just not (generally) as obvious as this one.
And when did you stop beating your wife?
Perhaps the notion of spousal abuse never even came to mind. Spousal abuse was talked about in such hushed tones back then (even as it was perhaps more common) that it may not have been implicit in that text the way it is today. An example of this kind of thing which I was thinking about a few days ago is the show 'My Two Dads', about a teenage/preteen girl being raised by two (straight, the plot line assured us) fathers. That show ran in the 80s, but can you imagine the reaction to the show now? Yet when it ran, it never really had to contend with the notion that the men were homosexual. Homosexuality was not yet on the public radar, just as spousal abuse was not on the public radar in the 50s/60s, when this ad might have run.
Oh tee hee - domestic abuse is funny stuff!
I find it odd that even back then, the top chefs in the world were men yet advertisers treated (and continue to treat) men as though they are completely undomesticated.
Well... is it just me or...?
What the ad makes me think of is not at all spousal abuse; I see it as being about husbands who not only take up cooking ( traditionally a female's job), but even take pride and find fun in it- at the point of having cake baking contests with their wives and winning :D
Different definition of the situation, isn;t it?
It has to be significant that the typeface of the "husbands beat wives" is way bolder and in red. Whatever their intentions were, it certainly has meaning and implications beyond a simple cake baking contest. Yes, women were and are the primary cook/bakers in the "family" but ONLY inside the home. Once cooking was considered professional men were and are the primary chefs. Also, one last thing, notice that the man is smiling gleefully and both women pictured look rather unhappy. Just saying.
Two egg cakes finally bit the dust in the early 50's...Betty was really wicked.
[...] harassment of women as marketing or entertainment (see the trailer for the movie Bounty Hunter, vintage Betty Crocker ad, PSA for labeling cleaning products, violence against women in prime time, ad for CSI, t-shirt to [...]
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