Terrible Ad Analysis


In 2011 Mr. Clean released an ad titled “This Mother’s Day, get back to the job that really matters”, and then depicts a mom teaching her young daughter how to clean. While the message the company attempted to portray was centered around the idea that a mother should prioritize the cleanliness of the living conditions on their loved ones, it failed miserably. Instead, they managed to reenforce outdated gender roles, imply that housework is a woman’s primary duty, and take away from a day of celebration for mothers everywhere.

Throughout most of time, families relied on men to provide for them, while women took over the role of care taker of the home and children. However, in the past several decades women began to strive for equality of sexes, especially in their careers. This resulted in a movement to a more equal share of housework amongst mother’s and father’s due to the increase in female participation in the workforce. This advertisement completely ignores any of this social progress of the past years, that so many strong women fought for. It implies that the career a mother may have is not as important as her duty to clean the home by the way it says “the job that really matters”, when referring to housework. This is reenforcing outdated gender roles by the way it undermines any work a women does outside of providing for and serving her family. The advertisement then goes even further by depicting a mom teaching her daughter how to clean, suggesting that she too will one day grow up to simply be a care taker of others. Women and girls around the world have goals and ambitions to be anything and everything and it is disheartening to see Mr. Clean only recognize them as people who clean up after others. Many people were angry when this advertisement first came out due to its sexists implications around the main purpose of a female’s life. Today our society has shifted towards a view that women have the choice to do whatever they want to do, and while many women do decide to clean and take care of their families, the women who choose to follow their passions or who work tirelessly at their careers have made choices for themselves that are equally as valid. Mr. Clean completely undermines these other choices that women make that implying housework is the only job for a mother. 

Furthermore, this advertisement is especially tasteless due to its suggestion that women should be cleaning after others, even on a day where they are meant to be celebrated. On Mother’s Day, moms around the world are meant to relax and be appreciated by their loved ones. Mr. Clean fails to recognize all of tireless hours mothers dedicate to their children and instead makes it clear they believe it is a woman’s job to clean up after others, no matter what day it is. Instead of picturing women to be independent, strong, or intelligent, Mr. Clean chooses to paint mothers as a servant to those around them. Overall, this advertisement failed to show respect to women and young girls everywhere by undermining the importance of celebrating motherhood, as well as ignoring any role a mother decides to take outside of the home.


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