I would not have thought that mocking a very large pool of your potential customers was a winning ad strategy. But Clorox seems to think it makes sense:
I haven’t found anybody yet who isn’t offended by that in some way, including, as it does, various offensive stereotypes of “housewives.”
And if that isn’t enough mockery for you, play the shorter videos below that one on Clorox’s “Green Works” website, where they make light of “conflict diamonds,” An Inconvenient Truth, “gluten-free” food and BPA.
Oh, and they never actually mention their products! I can’t say that I ever thought of Clorox as a producer of green products — and these videos make it rather unlikely I’ll be trying any of them any time soon.
Satire is a risky business, especially if you yourself don’t belong to the group being satirized and your satire can easily be taken instead as offensive. Seth MacFarlane found that out at the Academy’s awards with his tasteless “We Saw Your Boobs” musical number. As Andrew O’Hehir put it in his Salon piece, “I’ll tell you what’s funny“:
[MacFarlane] stumbled into a well-known problem with irony, which is inherently unstable. Anytime you say something you supposedly don’t mean, people are likely to take you at your word – and then you no longer control “what you meant” in the first place. Whether MacFarlane intended his shtick as absurdist or satirical humor is now irrelevant, because it came out as a more hurtful variety.