Monday, August 2, 2010

What This Woman Really Wants Is Not A Vacuum Cleaner

Dear Oreck,

Thank you so much for including me in your current direct mail marketing campaign for your "What A Woman Really Wants Sale." (emphasis yours) You know, most campaigns are boring, use big words and don't really speak to me in a language that my female brain can understand. But you spoke my language: purses, flowers, candles, stilettos, BFFs, beauty sleep, and diamond rings. Best of all, you tell me how I can be "Queen of [My] Castle" as I spend my days cheerfully vacuuming. And you did it using the Universal Female Colors pink and green. I can't begin to thank you enough for your thoughtfulness and ability to speak to the woman of the late-1950s and early-1960s.

Oh, wait. This is 2010. Ya, so that means, I'm pretty offended.

Seriously, what are you thinking? Are you using Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to create your ad campaigns? I guess on the upside, you didn't suggest I go ask my husband if I can get a new vacuum or ask him to buy me one because I haven't burned dinner this week. Do you really think that I can only be inspired to make a purchase when your ad dangles graphics of purses, stilettos, flowers, and diamond rings in it? Do you think I'm that simple and shallow?

Let me tell you that I'm not so simple, shallow, and easily persuaded. In fact, your marketing campaign, while it succeeded in getting me to talk about it (congratulations on that), has completely turned me off to your company. It turned me off because now when I think "Oreck," I'll think "The Company That Talks to Women Like We're Idiots." And that's kinda bad.

Shall we take a look at your flier and point out all the ways in which it's sexist?

Notice how the cover doesn't even have a vacuum on it. It's got a purse with a flower and offers me some free votive candles if I try the Oreck Edge. Evidently, it doesn't matter what the Oreck Edge is because what's important to me, as a woman, obviously, is free votive candles. Do you see the little white graphics of rings, purses, birds, gloves, buttons, hats, safety pins, perfume bottles, and tiaras?

On the inside of the front cover, I learn what the Oreck Edge is and how it will make me Queen of My Castle, complete with a tiara graphic! Note to Oreck: I HAVE a tiara. Two, in fact, but I don't wear them while I clean and vacuuming doesn't make me feel like a queen. What would make me feel like a queen, actually, would be having someone else clean my house. Like maybe my husband. (Ya, that statement just made a whole lotta single men line up to marry me!).

Notice the cute play on words with the graphic of the stiletto . . . Get it? HIGH hopes and the HIGH heel stiletto? Clever.

I am so grateful to Oreck for reminding me (and all women) that when we accepted (or accept in the future) that diamond ring and said our "I Do's," what we are really agreeing to is a life of vacuuming and servitude to our husbands. I also LOVE the reference to the "magic wand" in the ad. If I had a magic wand, I would wave it and I'd never have to clean again.

Finally, I love how using Oreck products is going to allow me to get more "beauty sleep" and my vacuum will be my BFF.

While the name of my blog is Little Merry Sunshine, I'm anything but stupid, simple, or shallow. In the future, I'd appreciate being spoken to and advertised to in a way that respects my intelligence. Until then, I'll stick with Hoover.

Little Merry Sunshine


  1. If I receive this ad, I'll pass it on to my husband. If anything has to be sucked up in our house, he does it. As a matter of fact, my dad was the one who vacuumed in my childhood home. I also think my brother-in-law is the pusher of the vacuum in his house. Looks to me like Oreck has got it all wrong.

    I don't want diamonds. I don't wear high heels. I own only two purses. Safety pins are not for diapers but for holding together clothing that I neglect to mend. I don't even wear perfume. The only thing I want is a man that vacuums.

    I hope your really do tell Oreck what you think.

  2. Love this post! You're hilarious. I hope you sent this to Oreck!! :)

  3. Thanks for the linkie. And yeah, my boyfriend pretty much does all the vacuuming in my house, and I don't think he responds well to stiletto graphics - he's more of a kitten heel man.


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