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Because sometimes you have to wonder if advertising copywriters have ever even met a woman
January 20, 2010 9:35 PM   Subscribe

Ever made fun of a commercial, a TV show, or a romantic comedy? Of course you have. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. But even shooting fish in a barrel can be done with style. Check out Info Mania’s Sarah Haskins’ Target Women spots in which Haskins dissects how the media types depicts we women types, especially when it comes to those matters so dear to the lady brain, like Botox, birth control, chick flicks, female political candidates, number two, cleaning, jewelry, diets, aging, skin care, the Oscars, Disney Princesses, vampires, The View, Michelle Obama’s arms, Lifetime programming, chocolate, lady parts, laundry, security, weddings, and of course that official food of women, yogurt. You can find a complete listing of Target Women spots here.
posted by orange swan (72 comments total) 181 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was glad to discover this today, thanks to you. Love the sarcastic, dry approach. It's about time.
posted by Miko at 9:41 PM on January 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was so surprised to discover there hadn't been an FPP on Haskins before, and that she's only been mention in a handful of comments on the blue.
posted by orange swan at 9:45 PM on January 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


"My Chia Pet. My fern. My gentle alpaca... My sarlac-the-sand-pit from Return of the Jedi"

Oh genius. :)
posted by hanoixan at 9:48 PM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Officially my new favorite obsession. Chick flicks was GENIUS. Thanks for the links!
posted by buzzkillington at 9:53 PM on January 20, 2010


Target Women: Yogurt made me laugh so hard I had to lie down when the wedding scene came on.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:03 PM on January 20, 2010


Yeah, Target Women kicks ass.
posted by furiousthought at 10:22 PM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


i thought i saw all these when i spent 2 days watching them a few weeks ago, but somehow i missed "this hoop skirt makes my balls sweaty." Thanks!
posted by mexican at 10:24 PM on January 20, 2010


If you get Current, Infomania is consistently funny. My gut tells me that it's a bit of a "Daily Show" rip-off, but my gut also tells me not to watch anything that's approaching 50/50 ads to content, so I haven't watched Comedy Central for a while now.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:30 PM on January 20, 2010


InfoMania is a gift from God. Or one of his sarcastic, net-savvy understudies. Viral Video Film School and the White Hot Top 5 are also awesome.
posted by NoraReed at 10:34 PM on January 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised there hasn't been a Sarah Haskins post, too. I would have sworn there had been one. I wonder where I found out about her from, if not here?
posted by Caduceus at 10:34 PM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, there was this post. But I'm thrilled to see the rest of them ...
posted by kyrademon at 10:46 PM on January 20, 2010


Who's on first? Yogurt is.

The yogurt one is absolutely hilarious. Especially because my mom loves yogurt and has a masters. She doesn't have a grey hoodie tho. I should buy her one for her bday. I want to get a subscription to Blue Paper Daily.

Also, another great segment on infomania is "That's Gay" where Brian Safi does the same thing Haskins does, except it's focus is on the representation of gays in the media.
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:49 PM on January 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I swooned over the "cleaning" segment. Because killing herpes while wearing a cardigan & pearls is my JOB.
posted by Mamapotomus at 10:49 PM on January 20, 2010


Funnier than I expected. Great delivery.
posted by bardic at 11:42 PM on January 20, 2010


Colin Firth. Colin Firth. Colin Firth! AND COLIN FIRTH.
posted by scody at 11:59 PM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is awesome, thanks.
posted by Errant at 1:02 AM on January 21, 2010


I'm loving these... thanks! (never heard of her before and I think I love her a bit too).
posted by evil_esto at 1:10 AM on January 21, 2010


I laughed until I peed a little.
posted by poe at 1:12 AM on January 21, 2010


Watched the chick flicks one and, although it was funny, I was kind of surprised to see, 'Happy Go Lucky' lumped in as a chick flick. If that's a chick flick, I might have to go and see a few more.
posted by MrMustard at 1:31 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised there hasn't been a Sarah Haskins post either, been posting her hilarity since before her press agent started reming me about them every week.
posted by dabitch at 3:01 AM on January 21, 2010


I'd seen the yoghurt one before. Rewatching it just reminded me of how hilarious it was. Watching the rest now, thanks.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:02 AM on January 21, 2010


My fave: Sarah Haskins in Target Women: Your Garden so hilarious.
posted by dabitch at 3:11 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I personally like this behind the scenes.
posted by Menthol at 3:49 AM on January 21, 2010


Infomania airs Thursdays at 10 Eastern on Current, but new episodes show up on the show page within an hour of airing, and they're also on Hulu, if that's your preferred delivery vehicle.

It's really not all that much like the Daily Show at all... much more like The Soup, but far, far more clever, and with a newsier bent. In fact, for a fun end of week activity, watch Infomania on Thursday night, then The Soup on Friday, and see how many jokes they stole!

Sarah Haskins is definitely my favorite person on the show, but everyone one else is great too. Infomania may well be the best thing on TV right now.

Underpants!
posted by SpiffyRob at 4:32 AM on January 21, 2010


Chick flicks was GENIUS.

Excuse me... but they're all genius.
posted by odinsdream at 5:03 AM on January 21, 2010


I had never even heard of Sarah Haskins until a recent MetaChat post and was going to see if she had any other clips - thanks for doing the legwork for me. She's quickly becoming a new fave.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:29 AM on January 21, 2010


I would have expected Sarah Haskins to be generally well-known to the MeFite crowd, but when I posted the Broadview Security video to MetaChat earlier today and people were saying her work was new to them, that led me to search Metafilter. And it turned out, as I've said, there were only a handful of comments about her.

I did miss the fact that those comments were all in a previous post about the yogurt spot. Oops. But I suppose this post is still kind of, sort of justified because it's about all Haskins' work rather than just the one segment, and her work is still news to many MeFites.
posted by orange swan at 5:46 AM on January 21, 2010


> that official food of women, yogurt

Oh, shit! I'm sorry! I've been eating the wrong food! Get me a hamburger!
posted by ardgedee at 6:08 AM on January 21, 2010


Loved these, thanks.

Current gets its viewers to make ads for Lexus Hybrid? "Help brand the Lexus H by shedding light on great achievements!" Good lord that's crass.
posted by mediareport at 6:14 AM on January 21, 2010


I was kind of surprised to see, 'Happy Go Lucky' lumped in as a chick flick.

Me as well -- as I understand it (I never saw the movie), it's more so about a young woman finding that the "chick flick" approach doesn't really work, or about how that happy-go-lucky attitude is masking something much darker.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:16 AM on January 21, 2010


My favorite thing about Target: Women is that it points out advertising tactics I had been perhaps slightly aware of, and then makes me notice them everywhere.
Ever since seeing the beauty contraptions bit, my husband and I walk through stores pointing out items claiming to come from that land shrouded in mystery, Europe.
posted by Adridne at 6:18 AM on January 21, 2010


You did good orange swan, I'm quite surprised more mefites didn't know her.
posted by dabitch at 6:20 AM on January 21, 2010


My favorite is the idiot husband one. As the more domesticated member of my current relationship it's funny that on ads for things like dishwasher detergent, laundry soap and the like treat men as people that are incapable of doing anything. It's like these ads are stuck in the 50's in a hip, modern way. Oddly enough (I didn't even see if it was mentioned) but apparently the tables have turned and men are marrying up and staying home now and women are making more money. Is the advertising going to change? Men acting like laundry is their biggest joy and feeding the toddlers in the baby food ads?
posted by djduckie at 6:27 AM on January 21, 2010


it's more so about a young woman finding that the "chick flick" approach doesn't really work, or about how that happy-go-lucky attitude is masking something much darker.

No, not really either of those. It is a great film, though, and probably shouldn't have been lumped in with the others.
posted by mediareport at 6:32 AM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


"My sarlacc sand pit from the return of the jedi" would have made me spit out my drink if I had been drinking. Thanks for posting this.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:34 AM on January 21, 2010


I was so surprised to discover there hadn't been an FPP on Haskins before

I'm surprised there hasn't been a Sarah Haskins post, too. I would have sworn there had been one. I wonder where I found out about her from, if not here?

(never heard of her before and I think I love her a bit too).

I had never even heard of Sarah Haskins until a recent MetaChat post

I would have expected Sarah Haskins to be generally well-known to the MeFite crowd



MeFi, I'm shocked and disappointed. I found out about Haskins on Jezebel a couple of years back, and I assumed that someone here had already done an FPP and Jez was just copying the MetaFilter awesome.

I don't know what to think about my relationship with this site anymore. I'm gonna go get some yogurt and ponder....
posted by magstheaxe at 6:35 AM on January 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is the advertising going to change? Men acting like laundry is their biggest joy and feeding the toddlers in the baby food ads?

Not too long ago I saw a commercial that showed a man being so excited about how great his new Swiffer was that he called his wife at work. She was obviously busy but managed a hurried, "that's great, honey", and then he embarrassed her by talking baby lovey talk to her on speaker phone while she had some of her co-workers in her office. It never occurred to me that it was some revolutionary commercial either. I do think the advertising world will catch on eventually that men do housework now.
posted by orange swan at 6:39 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was so hoping that the laundry episode would be about this Clorox commercial. It's a few months old, but it still makes me want to throw my shoe at the TV every time I watch something off of my DVR. Ladies, the technology has changed, but one thing is still the same: you will be doing the laundry for eternity.

Sarah, can we get a laundry episode, part 2?
posted by Alison at 7:08 AM on January 21, 2010


Love Sarah Haskins, there was a question on AskMe a while back that got me watching the clips. Infomania is great, so much smarter than all the other "stupid news of the week" shows.
posted by sararah at 7:10 AM on January 21, 2010


Woah! I've been following her for months, but for much the same reasons as meg's, I never thought of posting her here. Good job, swan! She goes a long way towards redeeming the existence of the ads she makes fun of.
posted by kavasa at 7:39 AM on January 21, 2010


The humour's good, but it seems like she'd need a bit more time to get around to saying something besides "This is ridiculous," which, honestly, is pretty plain in all of these advertisements.
posted by ODiV at 7:42 AM on January 21, 2010


She is so, so great. I too found out about her on Jezebel, and am glad to see her get the love here! My favorite lines, from "Moms feeding their $%^& families":

on the phone: Hi, I'd like the Pad Thai, tofu? (... pause... ) yeah, it's Sarah.

later, to the camera: No kids!
posted by travertina at 7:47 AM on January 21, 2010


This is pretty great, thanks!
posted by Mister_A at 8:10 AM on January 21, 2010


I'm surprised there hasn't been a Sarah Haskins post, too. I would have sworn there had been one. I wonder where I found out about her from, if not here?

I think people are thinking of my AskMetafilter post. It seems until very recently, there wasn't an easy, one-click way to access the full list of Target Women videos.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:37 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, and this post on the blue.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:38 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Add me to the list of people surprised this hadn't been posted here 2 years ago!

(my favourite is when she gets the teddy bear to get her her cigarettes)
posted by Theta States at 8:42 AM on January 21, 2010


What's really cute is that in the Lifetime segment she has that same panda bear tucked in beside her on the couch. It may actually be her bear.
posted by orange swan at 8:48 AM on January 21, 2010


"Underpants!"
posted by redsparkler at 9:38 AM on January 21, 2010


"It's my flip-flop! And it fits!"

Yes, girls! Aim high! Brilliant, thanks.

Really loved the birth control one. Because we can talk about Viagra and boners, but LADIES do not have SEX. They have periods. Which must be controlled. With products that PROTECT you from YOUR OWN UTERINE LINING. Which, p.s., is blue.

Ever since seeing the beauty contraptions bit, my husband and I walk through stores pointing out items claiming to come from that land shrouded in mystery, Europe.

I've been doing that for eons without seeing that particular bit. I've even told European women about this and they kind of don't believe me. Of course, in Europe a lot of things (at least used to be, before the US jumped the shark) are marketed as "American" if they want to be "cool," so that stupid stereotyping goes both ways. Europeans are pretty! Americans are edgy! YEAH!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:42 AM on January 21, 2010


oh yeah and the "underpants" line in the theme song is my favorite as well.
posted by djduckie at 10:56 AM on January 21, 2010


60 calories? Chocolate is like an apple! Or the wind. A real molest-y wind.
posted by msalt at 10:57 AM on January 21, 2010


This is awesome. Thanks.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:28 AM on January 21, 2010


Informania is also available on itunes as a podcast with all their segments split up so you can subscribe just to Sarah if you want. That's how I discovered her. Absolutely wonderful stuff.
posted by beautifulcheese at 12:05 PM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought I'd seen all of these, but I'd missed the security one.

That's... pretty fucked up.
posted by Alex404 at 1:01 PM on January 21, 2010


Not too long ago I saw a commercial that showed a man being so excited about how great his new Swiffer was that he called his wife at work. She was obviously busy but managed a hurried, "that's great, honey", and then he embarrassed her by talking baby lovey talk to her on speaker phone while she had some of her co-workers in her office. It never occurred to me that it was some revolutionary commercial either. I do think the advertising world will catch on eventually that men do housework now.

Ha ha i remember that one. I think in my mind I wrote a back story where he just wasn't at work that day. I guess because i am used to both the man and the woman in these set-up having to work.
posted by djduckie at 1:17 PM on January 21, 2010


Infomania is one of the few things I miss from cable. It's so great Current gets it enough to host all their stuff online for free. With Pytivo and the podcast, I'm able to watch it with my family on the big TV, despite only getting broadcast TV.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:46 PM on January 21, 2010


Thanks for the "That's Gay" link, whoever that was up there. I already knew and loved Sarah Haskins, but I hadn't heard of him. What a shame to miss out on that!
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:30 PM on January 21, 2010


Thank you, whoever mentioned that this was on Hulu too.
posted by flatluigi at 3:00 PM on January 21, 2010


She's great. This also reminds me of a Mitchell and Webb sketch.
posted by you're a kitty! at 3:35 PM on January 21, 2010


Thanks for bringing these spots to my attention.
posted by ersatz at 4:20 PM on January 21, 2010


Huh. I get it, I think, but I don't find much funny here. It's *exactly* like shooting fish in a barrel.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:47 PM on January 21, 2010


Yeah, but when you live your life so surrounded by fish that you can barely lift your arms to swim, it's awesome when someone shoots them.
posted by Miko at 5:21 PM on January 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


I discovered Target: Women via a blog post a few months ago and immediately devoured all of them, then started keeping up with Infomania - first through the Current site, now through the magical convenience of a hulu subscription. Which is saying something, as it's one of 2 shows that I actually keep up with these days.

I just wish her segment was in more of the episodes.
posted by polymath at 9:17 PM on January 21, 2010


Loved the birth control one.

I think Happy Go Lucky got advertised like a chick flick in the US, maybe Mike Leigh's reputation isn't as established there?
posted by harriet vane at 12:35 AM on January 22, 2010


Haskins did say in the chick flick segment that she would only be seeing two out of three of the movies she mocked. Which means she hadn't seen the movies before taping the spot. So yes, she may have been wrong about "Happy Go Lucky". I'll have to see that now.
posted by orange swan at 5:17 AM on January 22, 2010


It's great, orange swan. A really sharp, smart, odd flick. Mike Leigh is a genius director.
posted by mediareport at 11:33 AM on January 24, 2010


Mike Leigh is wonderful (I could watch Topsy-Turvy every day of my life), but I hated Happy Go Lucky. Like, rolling-around-on-the-floor-in-an-apoplectic-rage despised it. Authorities had to be called, and I received a black mark against my indie film cred. I feel bad admitting it, but there it is.
posted by scody at 12:20 PM on January 24, 2010


Thanks Orange Swan. I think I finally get women.
posted by mcbrett at 6:36 AM on January 25, 2010


Adios, TW:
In the throes of our ongoing laments about the dearth of women comedy writers working in entertainment, we've gratefully clung to Sarah Haskins. For the past two years, Haskins's "Target Women" segments for Current.com's "InfoMania" have skewered the delusional, frequently offensive way woman are portrayed in movies and advertising -- and been a reliably stinging source of two and a half minutes of laughter in our angry little feminist lives. But now Haskins has signed off from Current to devote herself fulltime to screenwriting...

But as we pour out a 40 for the woman who gave us the phrases "rape fables" and "dry hump heaven," we thank Jezebel for getting Haskins to do a farewell interview, wherein she waxes wise on Sarah Palin, why we need more women in the comedy writing rooms and her desire to buy the Hoda and Kathie Lee shower curtain.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:15 AM on January 26, 2010


I just came here to post the above comment. Waaaaaaah!!!!!!
posted by orange swan at 8:03 AM on January 26, 2010


"My sarlacc sand pit from the return of the jedi"

When my young (yet to be born) son asks me, "Daddy, what does a woman have down there?" I'm now going to be tempted to show him that scene. The original version, not the remake where they put Audrey II in there for some reason.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:31 AM on January 27, 2010


So fun being late to the party: Does anyone know where the "underpants!" bit in the theme song comes from?

Not that I'm looking for a new ringtone or anything.
posted by kittyprecious at 3:46 PM on February 2, 2010


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