Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rant: Idiotic hunting toy marketing ploy

One of the best things about watching network TV is the commercials - they're funnier than most of the shows.

Sadly, the same is not true of hunting TV. Few of the commercials are funny, and some are downright dreadful, like the Moultrie game cam commercial I saw last night.

The video is a loving shot of a game cam. The audio is the sound of a man, obviously far away, dazzling his wife with the fact that he not only remembered their anniversary, but made plans for it. She sounds very happy.

All the while, though, that game cam is out in the woods doing its job. Then comes the voiceover, which tells viewers that the Moultrie game cam helps you do what you want to do (i.e., scouting) so you can take care of the stuff you have to do (i.e., spend time with your wife).

Oh, such a burden to have a wife! Woe is you!

Now, I know there are guys out there who think of their wives as nothing but an impediment to hunting. Jake mentioned that - disparagingly - in his post yesterday about why he hunts. Jake likes spending time with his family and doesn't understand the people who hunt to get away from wives and kids.

But we know there are trogs out there, and apparently, Moultrie thinks there are enough of them that this ad will resonate with them and help sell the product.

Well, Moultrie, this one resonated all the way up my middle finger, which is what I aimed at the TV screen when I saw that commercial.

It's not that I don't have a sense of humor. I love that bow commercial where the woman gives her guy a bow for an anniversary present and he flutters and screams like the cliche women-getting-diamonds in jewelry commercials. That cracks me up.

And I'm not even a big fan of anniversaries. In fact, I hate Valentine's Day.

But this is just stupid. Moultrie, even if you don't care about the social effects of your marketing ploy (perpetuating the notion that a wife is a burden), you should wake up to the fact that one in ten big game hunters is a woman.

We are just as dedicated to hunting as men. In fact, my friend Dana spent her honeymoon deer hunting with her new husband. We are not only watching hunting shows, but we are starring in them as well. Your commercial last night was bookended by shows that featured women taking game.

You might want to consider some of those facts when you design your next commercial.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008

18 comments:

Kristine said...

I'm kind of glad I didn't see that commercial. I don't know that I would have been as restrained as you were. My television would probably have a hole in it today.

One of the things I have noticed is that there is a strain of dislike for women that seems to run through some hunters. By no means all, and probably not even the majority, but I've seen it pop up on forums before, and it always makes me uncomfortable.

I'm with you. If having a wife or a girlfriend is that much of a burden don't worry. You probably won't have a wife or girlfriend for much longer.

NorCal Cazadora said...

I knew I liked you!

Tom Sorenson said...

I don't get it - One of the main reasons I like being outdoors is that I get to spend that time with those closest to me - and that would be my family...and so far as I can tell, my family would include my wife. I don't understand the mentality of hunting to get away from the woman of your dreams - I mean, for cryin' out loud, if a guy wants to get away from his wife so bad...I can't even finish it. IT'S YOUR WIFE!! Does that not mean anything anymore?

SimplyOutdoors said...

I'm with Tom, and I left a similar comment on Jake's blog.

I don't understand all the men who hunt to get away from their wives. I love that my wife gets to hunt with me. I'm bummed that she can't go this year because of the pregnancy. Although, I guess that is a fair trade off.

It will honestly be weird to hunt this year without her.

I'm with ya on this commercial. It really doesn't make sense.

The other commercial that drives me crazy is the Limbsaver bow one where the guy goes around shooting everything in the store. Hey, thanks for promoting that stereotype.

Anyway, this is turning into a post. And I 100% agree with your point of view.

California Duckdogs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
California Duckdogs said...

Right on Holly,

I have been shaking my fist at my TV for years now, over this same thing. Phil Robertson was the worst I ever met. Now that he became religious, I hear he's seen the light! Ya-RIGHT!

In the last 21 years that I know of. Things have become better for women who enjoy hunting. At least now a women can join a Duck Club and really get to hunt out of the blind or spend time in the club house before shoot time.

It use to be the man's mentality to leave the wife at home. Hunting was seen as a way to get away from the women/wife and do male bonding with his buddies.

Bill and I just celebrated our 16th year together last saturday. Opening day deer season. He'll never forget that date, and I won't be left behind....I thought I needed to out think him before getting married. You never know, he could of turned out like the some of the self centered men and tried to go without me. I'm glad I was wrong and he enjoys hunting with me to.

Your friend,
Dana

Native said...

I can only WISH that my wife would join me in the field!
Although, my three year old daughter says to her friends and teachers at school:

"I will take my sword and slay the wild boar of the woods and then we will clean him and eat him!"

Maybe I will soon have a hunting buddy after all!

NorCal Cazadora said...

Now that's what I'M talkin' about! Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaa....

Blessed said...

Oh my... everyone else has pretty much already said it. I'm glad my husband likes to take me hunting with him and come to think of it, I know lots of guys whose wives don't hunt with them but who are like Native and wish they would - these are the people we hunt with.

The guys we've come across in the past who were all about leaving their woman at home so they could go out with the boys don't hunt with us - even if I'm not around, my husband doesn't appreciate that attitude and I'm glad.

With the little one I've had to miss a full year of hunting, hopefully I'll get an opportunity to get some time in the field this year! We've been finding some close places to hunt so that I could go too.

Chas S. Clifton said...

A lot of people in the outdoor-products and shooting industries are simply "tone deaf." I learned that during the years that I was a member of the Outdoor Writers Assn. of America (OWAA).

NorCal Cazadora said...

Agreed - and the problem comes from isolation. If all you do is hang out with people who think exactly like you do, you start thinking the whole world thinks that way. Big mistake!

Thank God I'm blessed with an extremely wide variety of friends - liberals and conservatives, vegetarians and meat eaters, hunters and non-hunters. Keeps my head on straight. Or at least whips it around so much that it seems straight to the naked eye.

Othmar Vohringer said...

When I saw that particular Moultrie advertising I got as annoyed as you did. Unfortunately, this type of advertising seems to be very popular and not only in hunting. In the same category I can’t stand advertising portraying that kids are smarter than their parents. Ads were children “educating” parents. Ads that imply a higher social status when using their products. I also dislike ads, like Moultrie, that encourage ignorance against man, women or other cultures. All in all advertising has become very aggressive and to a point anti social and ignorant.

-ov-

Matt said...

I haven't seen the commercial because I don't watch much TV, but I can see how it would offend women, particularly those who hunt. Keep in mind though that not all women hunt, and there are going to be times when their husbands would rather be hunting than doing whatever it is the wife wants to do. If the guy would rather hunt than celebrate his wedding anniversary, however, he probably should have married a woman who hunts!

Matt said...

I haven't seen the commercial because I don't watch much TV, but I can see how it would offend women, particularly those who hunt. Keep in mind though that not all women hunt, and there are going to be times when their husbands would rather be hunting than doing whatever it is the wife wants to do. If the guy would rather hunt than celebrate his wedding anniversary, however, he probably should have married a woman who hunts!

Terry Scoville said...

Oh that would've pissed me off too had I seen it! Wait, I am pissed off and I didn't see it. Yeah, right up my middle finger as well. I so don't have the patience, nor tolerance for such attitudes. Working in a male dominate field, seldom do I have negative experiences. Yet gender discrimination seems more prevalent in the hunting arena, than in woodworking. At least from my experience.

Live to Hunt.... said...

I have to agree with Chas, I think this is all about choosing one target market to the detriment of another. They just don't get it. Even if 10% of the hunters weren't women, I find it offensive to suggest that a guy only thinks with his... trigger... and would make that sort of simple-minded decision. Get a clue.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Check this blog post about a woman shooter's response to "fashion conscious" pistol grips.

Anonymous said...

At the 2004 Shot Show, I had a rep from Rocky boots tell me that women took too good care of their stuff to make it worthwhile to market to them. Stuff like the camera ad makes me glad we don't use the tv anymore.
That being said, there are times that I really want to get out on my own for a day and not have to answer to anything but the beat of my own heart. I am happy that my other half is willing to go hunting with me but for him it is hiking with a gun and that's about it. Oh well..
Jean