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Ad critique 4 “I GOT SWAG BABY”

Tiffany Carey
Ad Critique 4
September 28, 2013

                The ad I chose is a Sketchers commercial aimed at teens and pre-teens. It is for their brand called Daddy’s money – oh excuse me, “Daddy’s $”. This commercial came on in the evening on the Cartoon Network. I already knew this was the ad I was going to choose when I first read the syllabus for this class. I don’t think I have ever been legitimately offended from a commercial, until the day I saw this. From start to finish this ad had my jaw to the ground. It features snapshots young girls who are having fun, in a seemingly photo-shoot kind of way. Obviously it shows these shoes- which look like sneakers that have ‘secret’ wedges inside that make you taller. It flips between the shoes and the girls having fun for about 30 seconds with some girls singing a song where they say, “I got swag baby, daddy’s girl”.
                First let’s talk about the shoe itself. So these sneakers with ‘cool’ prints have this two inch wedge built inside. A wedge (also known as pumps) is a type of shoe that resembles a type of high heel. The only difference is that the bottom of these are all one flat surface, the heel isn’t separated with a gap like normal high heels. So they are trying to imply height as a desirable trait. There is a caption on the side of the shoe that reads “be two inches taller!” like that’s what you are supposed to be, taller. Obviously being preteens they will get taller, but this way they can feel older sooner just as the film Consuming Kids described. So that is the first strategy plays on teens urge to transition into adulthood.
                The girls in this commercial seem like they are genuinely having normal teenage fun while wearing these shoes however when you combine that with the lyrics of the song while looking at all these bright images of dollar sign is very suggestive. According to Klass’s article, “Up to the age of 7 or 8, children are thought to be unable to understand the nature of advertising — developmentally, they can’t identify the underlying persuasive intent. Older children may have a better understanding of commercials, but they are vulnerable in other ways.” This is why I find it offensive. It is teaching these girls to use their feminine ways by being daddy’s girl to get daddy’s money for Daddy’s $. Not only that this just seems so obnoxious and this ad makes it seems like it’s okay. For example towards the end there is a girl holding up a bunch of cash, like she is flaunting it. Basically, it looks like a modernized version of a Veruca Salt commercial if she had ever made one.
                There is morally wrong I feel and has several negative connotations. It is sending several messages and they are doing it in a way where the teen probably doesn’t notice. Using flashy pink and yellow colors with quick shots of images versus a flowing commercial that way you have to keep watching it so you don’t miss anything. They use improper language composition to grab the attention of the girls who fit that image (or at least the girl they want to fit that image) by using lyrics like, “I got swag” versus “I have swag”. The very fact that the name of this shoe is called Daddy’s money is offensive – for two reasons. One: daddy is a word that is sometimes used in a sexual manner by women. The first thing I thought of when I heard the name of the shoe was, “a prostitute who needs her pimps money”. Second: it is sexist. There is a reason there is a show called Teen Mom and not Teen Dad or Teen Parents. The brand name is assuming that there is even a father present to get money from in the first place. ABC even reported angry moms were in protesting this marketing campaign. Sketchers didn’t budge, only apologized if the name of the shoe offended anyone. The best way to sum up the way I feel about this entire issue was best stated by a top rated comment on the commercial featuring older teens (which is on the official Daddy’s Money Youtube channel), “How to be a teenage slut with daddy’s money. Great campaign, Sketchers” – FromCrownToKingdom (Youtuber).

The ad

ad featuring older teens


One response to “Ad critique 4 “I GOT SWAG BABY”

  1. This is pretty shocking, the lack of a moral code when targeting kids as been quite surprising. This is also a great example of how parents come into play when targeting children, this is sketchers being very honest about who they are targeting and who they want to spend money on their products. I understand being offended by this but at the same time it feels more honest than most commercials I’ve looked at for this assignment, I just can’t decide if I want to give them credit for that aspect.

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