Ladies: in case you've ever watched those ridiculously annoying tampon commercials, and wondered WTF was up with the obnoxiously happy women with their periods salsa dancing and kickboxing, and what is that blue liquid they always use, Sarah Haskins can commiserate. Haskins, a former improv actress who went to Harvard (so that makes her kinda, sorta affiliated with Boston), writes for a show called infoMania, on the Al Gore-helmed indie media company Current TV, and she's got a regular segment called Target:Women. In said segment, Haskins observes, with intelligent, hilarious deadpan, the many misguided attempts various companies make in female-targeted advertising. Take, for example, commercials for cleaning products. "Everyone you live with is an idiot," Haskins says, as images of spilled drinks, muddy paw prints, and attempts to use a blender gone awry flash across the background. "Look at the bright side: if your husband doesn't know how to use a blender, you can comfort yourself with knowing that cleaning products will always be your special friend."Then, on advertisements for birth control pills (shown above), as images of happy women with less-frequent periods prance behind her, Haskins says: "Birth control is sold as period control. Why? I don't know. I am just a lady, with a simple, lady mind... Fewer periods, yay! Now we don't have to leave the tribe and go sit in that hut for a week." These videos are like Seinfeld's whole "what's the deal with" shtick, but smarter and by a woman, and they had me snort-laughing and joy-crying. Be warned: Haskins has made a bunch of these videos (other topics: yogurt, pasta, laxatives, Disney princesses, wedding shows, Sarah Palin), so it's easy to lose a few hours watching them. I learned about Haskins via Gawker media's smart, lady-friendly blog Jezebel, who posted an interview with Haskins on their site today, and she elaborates on topics such as Gossip Girl, the proper past tense for "smite," and why ad companies seem to always get women wrong:"SARAH HASKINS: I think they're trying to toe a very fine line between seeming "with it" in terms of modern female roles and responsibilities while trying to do the tricky dance of selling us products that are related to much more traditional things: cleaning, cooking for your family, being a wifey… Hard to do both and not seem insane or ridiculous." Read the full interview here.
Watch Target:Women videos here.