Is This Denim Ad Accidentally Sexist?

So this is awkward. Wrangler is clearly trying to reinvent itself as more than just cowboy jeans by trying to appeal to women. But we’re not so sure the company knows what it’s doing.

The denim brand’s new ad features musician Kimbra, a bunch of women saying the word “bum,” and a really weird song.

The video gets off to a good start with women of different professions describing why they are more than a “bum.” A choreographer says, “I think we in general get sexualized a lot, and that’s a problem.” We couldn’t agree more. Another woman says, “As a journalist I would like to be appreciated for my work and what I have to say, not just for my looks.” Preach. “You should be judged on your talent, your skills, and what you’re bringing to the table,” another beautifully exclaims, right before things start to go sour. Immediately after that line, the camera starts following Kimbra as she walks down the street, and since it’s a denim ad, it’s clear where our attention is supposed to be: on her behind, perfectly packed into those jeans. OK, maybe we are just being pessimistic.

Nope. Because then she begins stopping women on the street asking to record them saying the word “bum.” Wait a minute. We thought we were supposed to appreciate women for what they had to say, and here you are basically only using them for the one word “bum”?!

It gets worse. Kimbra then uses all these different sounding “bums” to create a song that we have to listen to. It’s weird and uncomfortable and we’d much rather listen to those stunning women speak than hear this bum song that reminds us of Tom Green (“my bum is on your lips”). In the song, Kimbra sings, “Who is she?” as the camera focuses on women’s silent faces. We were wondering the same thing.

She then sings, “Ain’t about what’s behind me” right before Wrangler labels each woman’s butt. Literally. They zoom in on each woman’s behind with labels like “journalist,” “choreographer,” and “Olympian” scribbled on them.

Wrangler means well with this ad, but in the end they produced something that precisely demonstrates the problem with the sexist way women are viewed. Too much attention is spent on their looks and their assets, and not on what they do or say. It seems that was what they were going for, especially since one woman says, “We represent something that’s beyond just wearing clothes.” But Wrangler really missed the mark with this one. We have a feeling there are no women on Wrangler’s creative team.

On the other hand, if they were trying to produce a video showing exactly how not to treat women, well then, they’ve succeeded.

Also, we barely see any jeans in this ad. So, not only is this commercial completely sexist, it also doesn’t even sell the brand. #Fail.

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