Aren’t we past this?

20131025_toolboxI saw this ad in the Home Hardware flyer yesterday. My first thought was “Aren’t we past this?” and I then felt a bit of sympathy for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

My first thought was because of the antiquated Western stereotype that everything pink is for girls, and that girls like everything pink. We are past this and manufacturers and marketers who play it up are more likely to cause outrage than make a sale.  Even worse is the suggestion that woman can’t simply use an item … they need a special version, which invariably is exactly the same except for the colour. Just ask Bic about their For Her line of pens.

I’m insulted, and I’m a guy!

This whole pink thing brings me to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. They’ve created an immediately recognizable brand with their pink ribbons. My sympathy comes from the fact that it’s somewhat limited. If a toolbox manufacturer wanted to increase sales and do some good by getting together with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation by giving part of the sales of a line of toolboxes, how would they advertise it? They could slap a sticker of a pink ribbon on the toolbox. That’s what they should do, but it’s not very visible. So to gain that visibility, they make the toolbox itself pink. It’s far more visible, but it’s also patronizing, and I have no doubt that it also limits sales.

I just hope the idea for this came from the toolbox manufacturer rather than from Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. I can understand why a company that makes toolboxes is completely clueless about marketing products to women, but I’d be surprised to learn that the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is similarly clueless. In fact, I would hope that the Foundation did their best to dissuade the manufacturers from going out of their way to piss-off potential customers, and because the Foundation would not want to be targeted by any of the bad feelings the product causes.

But what do I know? I’m not the target demographic for the god-awful toolbox.

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3 Comments

  1. Shawn
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 10:19 | Permalink

    The other day i was talking to my business neighbour about something and she was saying that she bought pink stuff in the hopes other construction workers would not steal it, but it didn’t work. I agree with your comments, it does seem to be patronizing. Perhaps it is a way of women saying, this is my toolbox, guys, hands off and yes I am skilled enough to use tools too. I think if we really understood women, this would not be such an issue.

    • Rick
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 12:04 | Permalink

      I think this is one of those topics where women have very different opinions, depending on which you ask. I agree that it’s all about understanding. Whether it’s about understanding each other, or that a woman can work construction, all that’s required is we make the effort.

      I’ve been thinking about this and I think a pink toolbox in particular set me off because it’s such a bad colour for that application. The toolbox is going to look like a mess in short order.

  2. Brad
    Posted October 30, 2013 at 16:25 | Permalink

    My wife got a pink toolkit one Christmas because she figured I would be more likely to use my own tools.

    Not that if I needed a screwdriver in a hurry and a pink one was nearby I would refuse to use it, but at least it gave someone a good gift idea.

    One thing about her pink screwdriver, it is a Picquic and this model is slightly smaller to be easier to grip for her small hands (but it is also available in other colours).

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