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Madwomen creative director Gail Parminter is against harrassed British housewives and for Ikea’s smiley Swedishness, adVENT Day: 22

Behind the windows of this very special Drum adVENT Calendar you’ll find a different member of the creative industry venting their feelings on a Christmas ad, or ads, they love or loathe. Today it’s Madwomen creative director, Gail Parminter.

Advertising. Innovative, creative, imaginative? Not if you look at some of what they’ve put on the Christmas table this year. We seem to have gone back to a time when women gained satisfaction out of doing it all. While I realise that a lot of women who took part in the ‘best Christmas ads’ polls said they ‘liked’ some of the ads I’m criticising, I do wonder if this type of advertising actually does anything for the brands overall. I believe there’s room to move beyond the clichés and create ads aimed at women that are interesting, new, different – creative even – instead of trying to be a fly-on-the-wall of a typical ‘housewife’. It’s not a particularly new or interesting way to talk to women, and I feel pretty sure women wouldn’t object to seeing some more creativity being employed in the ads made for them. People pleasers may be relating to these ads, but I love Ikea’s approach. Bright, fresh joyful and modern. Okay, so it’s set in a kitchen – but that’s what Ikea sells – and it is the place many families will be over Christmas. But instead of showing a woman tussling with the turkey, we’re shown a fantasy world of giant toys, which is much more fun. The ad gets the message across that kids want toys and stuff at Christmas and adults want a pleasant environment for their Christmas dinner. Job done. An aspirational family Christmas, minus the drudgery. Maybe it’s the Scandinavian-ness? After all, in Sweden I don’t think the concept of the housewife exists anymore.Gail Parminter is the creative director at Madwomen which specialises in advertising and marketing to women. Gail has worked in the creative departments of all types of agency from traditional ATL shops such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Bates Dorland and Ogilvy to the newer breed of agency like Ogilvy Action, Dialogue and Saatci X. Madwomen has worked with the likes of Dove, Fairy, Braun, Heinz and Mars.Rare Creative Group founding director Steve Beaumont takes on John Lewis' festive mini-epic in his 21 December adVENT.

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