The UK department of regulating commercials that might offend people, has banned this cellphone commercial for the objectification of women, and barely even shows the woman using the cellphone. This commercial would have had the efficacy of most Motorola Droooiiiiid commercials, which also feature no one using a cellphone.
While I don’t think this commercial objectifies women, it makes the one in the commercial appear to be somewhat devoid of thought and incapable of laundry. First, why is she ironing a shirt that has already been worn? If it hasn’t been worn, then why is there a skinny cellphone in the pocket? While the handset does in fact look thin, it doesn’t appear to be so thin that a public school educated numbskull (like myself) wouldn’t notice when you roll a steaming hot rock rock over it. Was she that hungry that she simply could not notice this? The one thing that commercial does right is spark cognitive dissonance on handset durability in the context of industrial design. As handsets become thinner, will iron-resistant and then, iron-proof designs be an industrial standard? Will it become a government requirement?
For example, State and local governments in the USA, have attempted to legislate the sale of handsets. In this legislation, for a sale to be ‘lawful’ the phone must have theft deterrent like a remote activation lock. The thought process behind this is quite compelling. If technology OEMs are going to design devices that affect the actions of people who are deficient in understanding the concept of ownership, then that OEM needs to redesign the device or it will be illegal to buy. It seems the onus on how people behave around the devices is on the designer. If the design induces an “I must posses that article of technology goodness at this very instant!” reaction in someone when they see someone else’s device, then there is a responsibility on the designer to engineer a contingency. This legislation, in my opinion, has already had an effect on some OEM’s releases. Black Berry is re-releasing the classic. Only the elderly would feel compelled to want a BB classic. So should Black Berry be expected to provide an activation lock since most old people would not be able to sustain a prolonged run after stealing a black berry, and would be easily caught?
This raises 2 more questions:
Should the government have a requirement for industrial tech designs to be iron-proof, so that malnourished women won’t damage their new phone?
Would the commercial have been banned if it were a 200lb woman in her drawers, eating a Double Chili Cheeseburger while ironing a grease spattered shitt?