Just in case you have not seen it, Verizon has a new commercial that hit the airwaves and hulu plus with great fervor as marketers geared up for Mother's Day. The commercial showed a mother and daughter entering a Verizon store in order to buy the daughter a new phone. Both mother and daughter are crying and mumbling to each other in an incomprehensible manner (although apparently they can understand each other) but the audience is graced with subtitles to sort out what is happening. The daughter is moving out and her mother is worried that she will miss her daughter, won't get to see her or talk to her and is concerned that she will get lost because she is moving a whopping 4.2 miles away. The daughter explains how the new phone will solve all of their problems because they can video chat and the phone even has GPS. This original commercial was incredibly offensive to women and tapped into so many stereotypes it is hard to count (but let's try anyway!) Women were depicted as overly emotional, dependent upon each other, "speaking" their own language and so incompetent that they will get lost if they move 4 miles away from home. How this was supposed to convince anyone to buy the phone is beyond us.
Apparently a lot people agreed with us and verizon decided to tweak the commercial after receiving numerous complaints. In the new version the women are still crying but can be understood without subtitles and the daughter is moving 15 miles away (I guess that distance is supposed to make us feel better about the whole thing- seriously?!). Although relative to the original this version is slightly less offensive I wonder why they didn't just pull the add. It seems like they missed the boat on that one. If only they had a phone that could tell them how to not make offensive commercials.
EMPOWERTAINMENT aims to take a critical look at media in regards to how gender and women/girls are portrayed. From popular articles, videos, and websites, to original submissions, we want to not only examine the media and its relation to gender, but help shift it.