I stumbled across a movie on Channel Five last week and also saw Berocca’s mini sponsorship films shown during the adverts.
The idea is to recreate old B-movie genres and put the protagonist in control. Faced with problems, the hero – who has already had his Berocca (a vitamin drink) – solves all of them in a cunning manner.
Sounds fine doesn’t it? In principle yes, when you know that the context is B-movies.
However, when viewed (as I did) without a context, I saw a series of sponsorship moments designed to appeal to men by portraying women as useless.
Suddenly I wonder if I have missed the point about vitamin drinks such as Berocca. Are they really just for men?
Captioned under ‘outstanding performance’, one of the heroes – a pirate – solves his female companion’s heat problem by cutting away her clothes.
She is then shown as being extremely grateful for the quick-thinking man’s actions.
After all, she would have never managed to take her clothes off by herself.
In another ad, spacemen are being seduced by alien women and in a third the woman destroys the vampire, but she is the languid secondary character to the evil in the cloak.
It all made me wonder why Berocca’s advertising doesn’t just cut to the chase and sprawl scantily-clad women across the front of a red sports car – because surely that’s where the intent is coming from.
You could argue that the adverts are just good fun and I’m taking them out of context. But here’s the thing. I sat in a waiting room the other day and read magazines. I read about women’s sex lives and about their body shapes and what they looked like – there was nothing else there.
In practically every article, the first thing you’re told about a woman is whether she’s considered attractive and how old she is.
Lampooning old movies is cute. But not like this. Shake it up, change it around, make Berocca be for both men and women.
Because we’re all capable of outstanding performance.