I wrote a bit on BlogHer a while back about the mostly silly and sometimes offensive efforts to sell television sets to women by assuming that women are interested only in televisions as fashion and decorating accessories rather that functional pieces of technology. The New York Times seems to egregiously harp on this idea.
Their latest notice is of Philips creating short films featuring luxury fashion brands to sell their televisions to women:
In early August, for instance, the Aurea campaign got under way with a seven-page insert in Vogue in Britain. The print ads, shot by a fashion photographer, Vincent Peters, show a model cozying up to a brightly lighted Aurea screen that mirrors her image. Instead of technobabble about HDTV, L.C.D. or plasma screens, the ads include only the Philips and Aurea names and the tag line: “Simplicity is a light that seduces the soul.”
“There is a lot of female coding in this advertising,” said Laura Jones, global client managing director at the advertising agency DDB, a unit of Omnicom Group, which worked on the Aurea campaign along with the media planning agency Carat. “Before, televisions have always been sold based on pixels or that sort of thing.”
Again, I'll use myself as an example. I have a large, wide screen, high definition plasma set that is front and center in my living room and that I make no effort to conceal in an armoire. It happens to be a Philips which I purchased after reading rave reviews in places like circuitcity.com and AVS forum. Subsequently quite a few negative comments regarding product quality and poor customer service experiences have surfaced. If I were buying a set now I would probably avoid Philips because when you want to watch a show you need a set that functions so ultimately the "technobabble" matters and associations with fancy clothes and jewelry do not. Even to us girls.