Shame Sunbeam Shame

SUNBEAM3Comment by Paul Clifford

I’ll admit I do loathe advertisements.  For me the latest Sunbeam ad takes it to a new level.  I find it particularly tacky.  For those who haven’t seen it, the tag line is “Cooking is Competitive, start winning”.  Of course this reflects the rise of Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules, and yes in those situations cooking is competitive and good fun.  But to make it a competition in real life is SAD!

Sunbeam add an extra bit of spice to their ad with a picture of two women with one saying “I only made this to make you look bad”.  Well that’s nice isn’t it?!.  So Sunbeam, what you are telling us is that you are happy to make your brand all about pathetic one-up manship (or womanship) and that the objective of life is to make other people feel inferior while you climb the ladder of materialism.  My god are we back in the 60s here?

I can only assume that Sunbeam did some research and that their marketing psychologists told them that people are deep down competitive creatures who are looking for more and more avenues to take revenge on their friends and neighbours who have the gall to outdo them with more expensive dresses, cars and houses.  I sincerely hope Sunbeam didn’t do any research and have devised this strategy on a hunch because if the research is correct there are a lot of shallow people out there.  Surely people have got better things to do with their lives than go out and buy a Sunbeam in the hope that they can create some super cupcakes in an effort to climb an imaginery ladder of social success? “Yes see my banana bread?  Better than yours isn’t it?  This now makes me a more complete person and makes me really happy that you have a loser look on your face”.  Mature stuff!

This ad made me reflect on where we focus our attention.  I think it’s important that we reduce the amount of comparisons we make of ourselves with other people.  It’s a dangerous game to seek to outdo one another, wishing we had more achievements to boast about, more material signs that we are doing well in life vis-a-vis other people.  Is that the way to feel proud and satisfied?

When you are exercising, do you do it for yourself or do you do it to get noticed, for praise or to be better than someone else?  I think that in order to find more peace within ourselves it’s a much better use of our time to put our blinkers on to others around us and pick our own benchmark of success based on improving ourselves for the right reasons, not based on bettering or belittling others.

Sunbeam, I can’t say I wish you well in this campaign.  Hopefully you have got it all wrong and people won’t respond as you think they will.  This is a pathetic endeavour of superficiality and is a promotion of bad behaviour that endengers hate rather than love and acceptance.  They say advertising simply reflects back to us who we are.  I think we are better than this.

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