Remember the old Parryware ads which talked about converting your bathrooms into ‘glamourooms’ using Parry’s bathroom fittings? The focus was all shiny surfaces and curved contours, with lowly commodes and wash basins, converted into objects of beauty. Glamourooms was a distinct phrase, something never done before.
More recently, sanitaryware ads in magazines (and sometimes on TV), have convinced me that it must be impossible to sell any bathroom fittings without the aid of scantily dressed women. You find them standing next to the objects themselves, sometimes featured much larger than the products being advertised. The products, and the brand names too, are now relegated to corners, the focus is all on the women. If the product claims glamour, then the model strikes up a suitably slinky, sexy pose. If the product claims an Italian finish, well, then the lady is togged up in some raggedly cut leather stuff, that is perhaps meant to conjure up Milan, but instead, looks more like Tarzan and Jane .
Marketers ofcourse don’t find anything distasteful in using women as a commodity to sell completely unrelated products. And they would argue perhaps, this is what sells. But has the creativity of marketers and advertisers run out to the extent that they can’t think of any other ideas to promote this category?
On practical grounds too, I am not sure that this idea sells anymore. Sure there may be an audience that likes to ogle these women. But when every ad in this category pretty much looks like another, where’s the differentiation? I bet if you asked a random group of consumers to associate leading brands with some attributes, they would be hard pressed to. Where’s the branding, I wonder?