Advertising Science: It’s an Idiot Thing

By Voxy  

Seriously, European Commission? SERIOUSLY?

Behold: What The European Commission Thinks Is The Way To Get Girls Into Science.

I have no words. I know some of you will have plenty of words, though. And you can read other people’s words about it at The Los Angeles Times.



(In otherwise unrelated blogging news, I have been traveling out and about. I have not forgotten about the Minerals Mate giveaway or the vast number of products waiting to be reviewed! Fear not.)


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  1. avatar a biologist
    Posted July 12, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Did we seriously just get mansplained? At Voxy’s? I believe this is a historic first.


    • avatar tom
      Posted July 14, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink | Reply

      Rather than be sarcastic, why not explain your thoughts on the video. For I am more interested in hearing that.


  2. avatar tom
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    (sorry for the four posts… but this has impacted me. I suppose, because of my daughter.)

    I would like to add one more comment.

    In the Pixar movie, Monsters Inc., there was a giant, blue, fuzzy monster and a small, round, green monster.

    Later, in the Pixar movie Cars 3, the cars were racing through Tokyo. There was an instant when they raced past a garage. Standing in the doorway of the garage, were the blue fuzzy and small round monster from Monster’s Inc. They were on screen for about one tenth of one second. I would never have seen it if my daughter had not pointed it out. And even then, I had to play it three times before I saw the manipulation.

    But my daughter saw it at normal speed, easily.

    Kids register flashing images faster than adults, I think.

    It would be a grave error to view this video “Science: Its a girl thing” from the perspective of an adult. It would be equally mistaken to assume it is for teenage girls. I think this is to be viewed from the perspective of an eight year old girl. One who has the ability to register flashing images without prejudice.

    I asked my daughter what she thought of the video.

    She said it was cool.

    I asked what she liked about it

    She said the colors the smoke the light the girls the faces (and take note of the facial expression on the black girl halfway through – it is an “I got it! I understand the phenomenon” expression of a scientist).

    So while I agree with the criticism of this video and the images it relays to adults. Let’s not be so quick to dismiss something that MIGHT have a positive impact for a group of people (adolescent girls) who register images in a totally different way from the rest of us… and who are entering a world that is not the one in which we were raised.


  3. avatar tom
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    More… note one other subliminal message.

    The boy is there only for a moment. His role is to notice the girls and send a message that science girls get noticed.

    Then he is never seen again. He is irrelevant. The girls have found fun with science without him.


  4. avatar tom
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    In other words… I really wish we did not have a world where girls were manipulated by leveraging their communal spirit. But we do and it is evil. And we will not stop it.

    I cannot fight this fight for my daughter. Instead, I can let her see flash-videos (2 seconds in length, just like MTV) of girls/fun/science/girls/fun/science/girls/fun/science.

    So leverage it, maybe.


  5. avatar tom
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am not so sure this video is so bad.

    I understand the criticism: girls should pursue science because it is fun and they are impassioned, not because it is sexy and there is makeup and high heels.


    Do we really live in a world of neutral images?

    I have a daughter and a son and from my own life and watching theirs, it seems that girls commune more with each other. The form groups, for good (buddies) or bad (judgmental cliques); they just do.

    And Madison Avenue has figured this out and uses it to pull girls toward fashion and makeup and caring about what boys think.

    And this video spins that on its head. And uses it as a weapon to redirect girls (who have already been primed by the Madison Avenue machine).

    When I see the video, yes, I see the makeup and the dancing and the heels. That is one thing. But I also see the color and the light and the dazzle and girls having fun.

    I understand the objections. But those objections assume a world that no longer exists: a world where girls (and boys) are not subjected to pernicious, well-crafted, ever present media manipulation.


  6. avatar ab_grp
    Posted June 30, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    Oh, dear. That was just ridiculous. I’m not in a lab science field, but I did not have that impression of what “girls” do in those fields. I guess cosmetics companies may have found a new target market, given the focus on cosmetics in this ad! How did the Commission think this was a good idea?


  7. avatar chaosbydesign
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow, I only just saw this. It is terrifying. I also have no words.


  8. avatar a biologist
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am going to show this video as an example of the clothing I DON’T want to see in the lab.


  9. avatar Relationalista
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Love the comment from the EC spokesperson: the “Commission doesn’t really do irony”. That is clearly indicated, among other things, by the fact that this abominable campaign drawing more people to the European Commission website is perceived to be a good thing. On the plus side, I’m sure I can find some way to squeeze this into teaching in the fall.


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