Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tropes in Advertising

I've been noticing a disturbing pattern in ads directed at "mothers" in the last couple years. Today I found myself thinking about a class I took in college that covered the modern definition of trope. A common or even cliche theme running through a story. The good girl/boy falling under a band influence, finding redemption and ending up a hero or the seeming unredeemable bad guy who finds love and overcomes his limitations to become a force for good. There are a lot of them. Threads that run through books and films and some how strike a cord in our global consciousness. We know who to root for and who to boo at.

Now back to those pesky commercials. Lately I have noticed the smug mom. She finds the bargains no one else can, buys the foods that are super healthy that no one else knows about, or keeps her house clean with ease because she knows the secret weapons of sanitary living. And the look on her face says it all. Lumped in with smug mom is hero mom - she does all of the above but is less condescending about it. Then there is the clueless mom - she is confused by everyday life. She buys the wrongs things, shops in the wrong places, messes up but oh isn't she adorable and her kids still love her. Finally, we have harried mom. She is about to snap! Her kids drive her crazy. She can't function without coffee and/or yogurt that helps her poop. She is a mess and her kids are suffering because she is stressed out ALL THE TIME. I'm sure there are more. If you have a favorite, add it to the comments.

My question to all my fellow moms is this...do you identify with any of these motherly tropes? Do they speak to you? Do you find yourself saying "Yeah! I should buy that so I can act all smug and superior with MY friends too!"

Didn't think so. I think more women who are moms need to go into advertising. Those mad men need help. ;)

No comments: