Drawing out the feminist problems of this commercial has been done. I personally prefer Sociological Images. They’ve got some very interesting links where they point out that this sort of advertising is demonstrably counterproductive.
I read about it a lot before I saw it, and I only just saw it today. Honestly, my first impression wasn’t just that this ad was harmful to girls or counterproductive, though it is, but that obviously the marketers here seem to be confused as to what they’re advertising. I’ve taken more than one sales job in the past to get my family through some tough times, and I do know that gendered expectations can be powerful motivators when it comes to purchases, but you can’t just throw things together willy nilly. When you want moms to buy things for their babies, you appeal shamelessly to their protective instincts, not their desire to look sexy. Parties, sex appeal, pop music, and exploding makeup are things that make feminine people want to buy makeup and feminine clothes. These images really only work to that specific purpose. That’s why, when you see women-targeted ads for the military or schools, you don’t see a lot of exploding makeup and sultry looks from men. Women don’t choose majors based on which ones will contain the most makeup just like men don’t choose majors based on which ones contain the most football and beer.
The website just gets even funnier. Cell phones! Friends! Pink Hearts! Oh the feminist in me is outraged all right, but the former salesperson in me is laughing her god damn ass off.