The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

And They Say Romance Is Dead …
February 16, 2009, 6:00 am
Filed under: Comment

I’ve always been of the belief that Valentine’s day is more about fear than love – but putting that aside – I’ve noticed more and more companies are trying to expand who is ‘eligible’ for a Valentine’s Day gift in what can only be described as a desperate attempt to exploit more cash out of down-trodden, fear-ridden men.

Maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I’ve always regarded Feb 14th as a day you send a message of love to your significant other, even if she doesn’t know it yet … it certainly doesn’t include your Mother!!!

Besides, isn’t that what Mothers Day is for?

In all seriousness, I am of the belief that you should show your feelings every day, not on a designated date that has been corporately sponsored – however I recently saw an ad that makes me feel I am either …

1/ Totally out of touch
2/ A tight bastard
3/ About as romantic as an Aussie
4/ All of the above

Nice eh?

To be honest, I almost admire their honesty … but lets face it, there are Arnie movies that are more romantic!

Saying that, this ad actually conveys quite a few Asian cultural traits …

1/ The acknowledgement of ‘mistress’ demonstrates that across Asia, there is quite a prevalent ‘2nd wife’ attitude/habit.

2/ The fact the Mother’s ring is big [but not quite as big as the mistresses] – and placed higher than the wife – explains how many Asian men view the pampering nature of their Mothers as being of higher value than the loving [but perceived ‘demanding nature’] of their wives.

3/ The wife being placed at the bottom of the group represents how many Asian men regard their wives at the bottom rung of importance – less than their career, children, parents and mistress.

4/ The flamboyance of the ‘wife ring’ shows how many men regard their wives as a ‘possession’ … a possession that should be used to create an image to the outside World of a caring, generous and wealthy man.

Of course I’m generalising and I accept there are many Western men who probably share the same thinking/attitudes as the ones I’ve described, but whereas in the West we would hide these sides of us, in much of Asia it is shouted loud and proud – not because the people here are insensitive pigs [though some definitely are] but because for many, this is just part of how life is.

So if any of you are working on ‘global brand campaigns’ [which given the economy is VERY unlikely] remember we might all be part of the same World, but there are cultural differences that mean we are almost on a different Planet.

Finally, for any guy who reads this blog – if you have wives/girlfriends who complained about the poxy flower you bought /stole out of a garden for her – point her to this post and explain why she’s never had it so good, ha!

14 Comments so far
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have you been at lonely planet again campbell?

Comment by andy@cynic

Alternatively you could suggest that the wife is the only one who receives the heart and thus the most sincere gift.

Comment by John

But all this signifier stuff is probably nonsense anyway.

Comment by John

I’m just impressed you’re reading Andy.

You could suggest that John, but sadly you’d be wrong – not in every case of course – but in many, mainly for the reasons I detailed in the post.

Comment by Rob

You’re right Robert, that ad does have plenty of Asian cultural clues in it. Too many people would look at that and just laugh but in Asia there is always method to their madness and even when it is done for superficial reasons, there’s a deeper meaning contained within it. No wonder you do so well there and I was so hopeless. 🙂

Comment by Pete

So would you say this is a brand thinking global but acting local?

Comment by Lee Hill

At least they didn’t write “life ruiner” instead of wife.

How would the ad read if it was promoting a day where women acknowledged their feelings towards men? Something tells me it wouldn’t be Lover Father Husband or would it?

Comment by Bazza

nice to know, bazza, that valentines day is only for men to show how much they love women. not other men, or for women to show their love to anyone. phew!

Comment by lauren

Hi Lauren. My comment was badly written because I don’t really think Valentine’s day is exclusively for men to express their heartfelt emotions to women. Maybe it came out that way because my inner thoughts were trying to hide me from the fact I never get cards from women or men. 🙂

Comment by Bazza

I like the ad and its honesty.
Valentines day per se I am unsure… why do we need a specific day to show love? Surely love is 365.20

Comment by Rob Mortimer

don’t worry bazza, i’m just fuckin’ with ya. i hate valentines day, so any opportunity to rip into it, i’m takin’ it.. 🙂

Comment by lauren

this ad could run in some arabic states as well i think. instead of mistress it would say daughter.
i ve seen some documentary about the 2nd wife issue a while ago. i think it was shot in thailand. as far as i remember, it were two young couples. one that completely rejected the idea of the husband having another woman and the other couple being fine with that. i think it always takes two people (or three) to agree to some lifestyle like that. if you are the wife of some mucho macho and fed up you could always take the ring (and the ones from past years) and run off. the rings are probably earning you some bucks at the pawnbroker’s. ha! so at least something valentine s day is good for 🙂

Comment by peggy

i wouldn’t let your missus see your comment casonova mortimer or you might have to ask george if you can share his fucking bad boy shed.

and bad boy is not some street cool terminology its a fucking shed

Comment by andy@cynic

[…] Mind you, even that isn’t as bad as this blast from the past. […]

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