Monday, November 14, 2011

Breaking the Mold

The other day I was watching YouTube videos (which is what you do when you haven’t owned a television in forever) and up pops the following commercial from Ivory soap:
Here is Ivory Soap, owned and manufactured by Procter & Gamble, a Fortune 500 multinational corporation that made $82.6 BILLION in sales this year, coming after me and my fellow soap makers. A company known as one of the most admired brands in the world is saying what I make isn’t soap -- evidently because it isn’t white and in the shape of a rectangle. This is news to me...


So you can imagine my surprise at this “Galactic Empire” of a company coming after a rebel like myself. I mean, have my fellow soapmakers and I suddenly become a threat to a company that has sales of more than $80 Billion a year?

The reason this hits me so hard is because I don't look like a "business owner" or even a "responsible parent". I have been bound, gagged and tied down by stereotypes. By people, banks and schools telling ME I can't be what I have worked my ass off to be because of the way I look, because I don't fit the mold. Cuss yes I'm covered in tattoos and I drive a giant flaming van AND I own a hugely successful business. YES, I was a teen parent and I let my children read comics before they even touch homework AND they are years ahead of their peers in educational development. The fact the my hair might be neon pink, my pants neon green, or that there is a giant Star Trek insignia tattoo on my neck, has not one single thing to do with it.


Since when do we have to squeeze ourselves into a simple, plain, mold to be something? Since when did our shape, size or color define what we were? If a GIANT billion dollar company can dictate what a product is by what it looks like...really, where is the limit? *insert my extreme paranoia here*

There are tons of things around the house, where instead of forking over money to some corporation trying to stuff you into a box, you could buy those goods from crafters, artisans, and small business owners who have love and passion for what they do and who are responsive to their customers. And for those things that can’t be handmade, maybe think of buying something used and fixing it up or simply upcycling! I recent bought an awesome cowly scarf, handmade by my friend Marissa, instead of buying new shirts for winter. Bonus points for upcycling my summer tank-tops and for supporting another crafter!

I’m not saying never buy anything from a big corporation, but we should all try and keep in our minds the idea that going to a big box store and buying something from a large corporation is only one of our options and when possible we should try and look at some of the others.

Meanwhile, Ivory Soap (and by extension Proctor & Gamble) -- you keep doing what you do and I’ll keep doing what I do. I pour as much love and passion into my soap as they can hold, and my customers return it all back to me ten-fold. I’m pretty sure no one loves your soap like they love mine. And the icing on the cake? (mmmm...cake!) The whole reason I got into soap making was that the likes of you couldn’t make a soap that didn’t make my son break out into horrible, bleeding rashes. YOU created the need for people like me to step in and make quality products that people not only enjoyed using, but could feel good about.

Everyone, go out and break the mold today. ♥Kylee



11 comments:

Nancyloohoo said...

Amen!

Nancyloohoo said...

Amen!

Michael M. said...

Awesome. Truely think that. I wish I could afford to shop w/ crafters/artisans more. I try whenever I can.

emylibef said...

You know you're doing something right when you spook the Man.

Jeni Burns said...

I'm going to be honest. I've only ever bought from you once, but I know I'm going to come back because, well, what you pointed out in your last paragraph. I thought it ironic that this commercial was made by Ivory soap, because I am ridiculously allergic to it, and have been since I was a kid. The only soaps I've used that clean AND don't take all the moisture out of my skin were hand-made soap that either I made myself or bought from you, Geeky Clean, or Bella Luna crafts. Three reputable soap makers who make GOOD soap, fun soap, and CLEAN soap. Why would I want to waste money on cheap soap that will dry my skin out or give me a rash? Most home soap makers, even those that use ready-made bases, produce soaps that clean better and leave your skin in better condition than their commercial counterparts.
I'm behind you, 100%!

Adana said...

What I want to know is, how did they get all their examples of "non-soap"? Because it would be extremely hilarious if they actually searched around for artisanal soaps to buy and feature in their commercial to bash artisinal soaps. It would be extremely hilarious indeed.

Unknown said...

I'm more than a little proud that they're threatened by you!!

NakedHobo said...

Preach it lady! :)

galgotspirit said...

Wow, they must be really threatened by indie soapmakers! Soap is soap, pure and simple. Besides, the commercial has no sway value at all. In fact, it kind of makes you actually want to by the indie soap because it's more fun! Do you know when the video was dated? Has it actually aired on TV?

Jessica said...

Keep in mind folks, this is marketing plain and simple. It's a company making a 100-year-old product trying to stay current. Ivory has a target demo for their product and this is something a room full of 30-year-old hipsters at an advertising agency thought would appeal to them. In fact, I'd be willing to bet money the very ad men & women that designed this campain are more likely to buy the fancy artisanal soaps.

In other words, the people this campaign targets aren't the kind that would buy soap at a boutique or online anyway, so this commercial really isn't hurting any soap crafter's bottom line- only your feelings.

Of course, that's reprehensible, but in the words of the venerable E. Roosevelt: "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent". We know you're not, so why give them that power?

Jessica said...

Just an interesting point of view to add here, since someone mentioned wondering where the artisanal soaps in the commercial came from. You're actually probably right in your theory that the ad agency actually searched for and bought hand-made soaps.

Even more interesting, however, is the fact that the producers of this video would have actually HAD to obtain legal rights and paid royalties to the featured soap-makers. So ironically, chances are, those soap crafters featured in this commercial have a pretty positive view of the campaign.